Cardio­metabolic Health

Cardiometabolic health is a relatively new term that encompasses cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Collectively, such conditions are the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. They all share similar risk factors (e.g., overweight/obesity, elevated blood pressure) which can be modified by diet and lifestyle choices. The available evidence indicates that eggs, when consumed as part of an overall healthy diet pattern, do not affect risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. Recent recommendations from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and American Diabetes Association do not limit egg or cholesterol intake, a change from earlier guidance from these organizations. In fact, several global health organizations, including Health Canada, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Australian Heart Foundation and the Irish Heart Foundation, promote eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Given the public health significance of understanding cardiometabolic diseases, research on risk reduction remains an active area of pursuit. For example:

  • A randomized controlled study in people with metabolic syndrome showed that those consuming three whole eggs per day as part of a reduced carbohydrate diet experienced favorable changes in HDL-cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and other aspects of the lipoprotein lipid profile
  • A randomized controlled weight loss trial in people with diagnosed type 2 diabetes showed improved lipid and glucose markers following consumption of 2 eggs per day for 12 weeks.
  • An egg-based breakfast, rich in protein (35% energy; 26.1 g egg protein), promoted glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes relative to a high-carbohydrate breakfast.

New Research Further Confirms that Egg Intake Does Not Raise the Risk for Heart Disease

eggs

In 2016, the long-standing limit on cholesterol intake was lifted with the release of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a decision based on years of research suggesting the connection between dietary and plasma cholesterol is minimal. This was welcome news for egg-enthusiasts everywhere, but came with one caveat: a compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) that appears to increase risk for heart disease. TMAO is a byproduct of choline, an important nutrient of which eggs are an excellent source. The prevailing hypothesis is that choline-containing foods, such as eggs, may elevate plasma TMAO. The good news is that it’s not quite so straightforward. Continue reading “New Research Further Confirms that Egg Intake Does Not Raise the Risk for Heart Disease”

Daily Egg Consumption Does Not Affect Glucose Markers in Type 2 Diabetes

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Featured article in the January, 2017 Issue of Nutrition Research Update; written by Dr. Valentine Njike, Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation at the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center.

Adhering to a healthful diet is paramount to control blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes (1). Weight reduction is an important goal as well when controlling blood glucose levels (2). Specifically, a 5 to 7 percent reduction in body weight can improve insulin sensitivity, decrease fasting glucose levels, and reduce the need for some diabetes medications (3-7). Foods with little or no effect on blood glucose levels are typically recommended to control blood glucose in persons with Type 2 diabetes (8). Despite the fact that eggs have little or no effect on a person’s blood glucose level, their inclusion in a healthful diet for adults with type 2 diabetes has been questioned because some epidemiological studies have shown that people who include eggs in their diets have a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes (9-10). A recent large-scale study that combined and analyzed the results of several studies has found an association between egg consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in U.S.-based studies. However, this association has not been observed in studies conducted outside of the U.S. (11).

Continue reading “Daily Egg Consumption Does Not Affect Glucose Markers in Type 2 Diabetes”

Daily Egg Intake May Decrease Stroke Risk: Q&A with Dr. Tia M. Rains

egg shells

Following release of the of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that placed no daily limit on dietary cholesterol, a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition associates eggs with a 12 percent reduction in the risk of stroke, the 5th leading cause of death in the United States.

Tia M. Rains, PhD, Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center, sat down to discuss the study and why it’s important to consumers.

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New Meta-Analysis Suggests Daily Egg Intake May Decrease Stroke Risk

One Egg a Day Reduces Stroke

A recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN) suggests that daily egg intake does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, and may actually contribute to a decreased stroke risk. A comprehensive literature search of papers published through August 2015 was conducted to select the studies that fit the criteria for the meta- analysis. While meta analyses on the relationship between cholesterol intake and heart disease risk have been published previously, the authors indicated that they conducted this study to include newer cohort trials that had not been included in prior analyses and were specific to egg intake.

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UConn Professor, Dr. Maria-Luz Fernandez, Highlights her Recent Research

Breakfast Tacos

The Egg Nutrition Center interviewed Dr. Maria-Luz Fernandez, a nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut. For many years, Dr. Fernandez has studied the impact of diet on various health indices in Hispanic and non-Hispanic subjects. She has done feeding studies in Mexico, and has a keen sense of the health and nutrition issues that impact the Hispanic community. We asked Dr. Fernandez about the role of eggs in the Hispanic household, as well as for an update on some of her latest research. Below are her responses to our questions: 

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