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Egg consumption, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition volume 72, pages 4456 (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

Eggs are rich in nutrients and a source of essential fatty- and amino acids, and the food item with highest cholesterol content. Since the 1970s dietary recommendations have advised limiting egg intake to 2–4 a week for the healthy population, and in those diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) an even more restricted consumption. The aim of the present paper was to assess the recommendation to lower the dietary intake of cholesterol and especially the intake of egg to reduce the risk of CVD and T2D. We performed three web-based literature searches on human studies (observational and interventional) published within the past 10 years during spring 2015. High-quality intervention studies have found nonsignificant effects of increasing the consumption of eggs on risk markers for CVD and T2D in healthy subjects and subjects with T2D. The risk associations found in the observational studies are more likely to be attributed to a dietary pattern often accompanying high egg intake and/or the cluster of other risk factors in people with high egg consumption. Dietary patterns, physical activity and genetics affect the predisposition of CVD and T2D more than a single food item as eggs. In conclusion, up to seven eggs per week can safely be consumed, but in patients with established CVD or T2D only with special emphasis on a healthy lifestyle.

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Acknowledgements

NRWG and AA initiated the review. The literature search was performed by NRWG, reviewed and discussed by all authors. All authors contributed to the content and NRWG collected the individual contributions and drafted the manuscript; all authors critically reviewed and endorsed the final manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Clinical Nutrition Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev-Gentofte, Hellerup, Denmark

    • N R W Geiker
  2. Department of Cardiology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark

    • M Lytken Larsen
  3. Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Science, Copenhagen University, Frederiksberg, Denmark

    • J Dyerberg
  4. Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev-Gentofte, Hellerup, Denmark

    • S Stender
  5. Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Science, Copenhagen University, Frederiksberg, Denmark

    • A Astrup

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Competing interests

The work of NRWG has been funded by the Danish Egg Association. The funders had no influence on design, execution, data handling of the investigation, on interpretation or dissemination. The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to N R W Geiker.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2017.153