Eggs not associated with increased coronary heart disease risk, study finds

A new research paper, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has found that eating an egg a day is not linked to increased risk of coronary heart disease. 

About 20% of people in European populations carry a gene called apoprotein E4 (apo E4) which is associated with raised blood cholesterol. Carriage of this gene has also been linked to increased sensitivity (in terms of raising blood cholesterol) to dietary fat, especially saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol.  These associations are believed to explain why, in part, people who carry the apo E4 gene express a higher risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). 

This recent Finnish study found no significant relationship between the intake of eggs and dietary cholesterol, and CAD as measured by incidence of CAD and extent of coronary disease in the arteries  (intima-medial thickness IMT) of 1032 middle aged and older men from Eastern Finland.  The  study showed a lack of any significant relationship between the intake of 1 egg a day and these measures of CAD in a third of the men who carried the apo E4 gene,  who are more sensitive (or susceptible) to the cholesterol-raising effects of their diet.  

These results provide further evidence to show that  dietary cholesterol from eating one egg a day produces no significant effect on the risk of coronary heart disease, even in individuals with a genetic predisposition that places them at higher risk of CAD. 

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