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No change to egg advice, says BEIC

18/03/2019

The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) has reassured egg-lovers that they can continue to enjoy their daily poached egg on avocado or dippy egg and soldiers without concern.  

Despite the publicity for a new American study linking eggs, cholesterol and heart disease last week, advice to consumers has not changed and there remain no official ‘limits’ on egg consumption for most people in the UK.  

All UK health and heart advisory bodies, including the Department of Health and the British Heart Foundation, advise that dietary cholesterol from foods such as eggs does not increase the risk of heart disease for most people, and previous limits on egg consumption were lifted in the UK more than ten years ago. 

The findings of the new American paper1 were inconsistent with other recent research on eggs, cholesterol and heart disease.  

Nutrition experts have pointed out a number of limitations with the American study and also highlighted the fact that studies outside the US appear to show more favourable relationships with egg intake and cardiovascular risk, which may reflect the importance of the other foods consumed with eggs as part of the overall diet pattern.  Research published earlier this year2 has demonstrated the importance of separating eggs from other foods, particularly processed meat, to properly assess impact on health outcomes.

Commenting on the latest paper, the British Heart Foundation says: “This study was observational, which means conclusions have been drawn from large quantities of data. It shows there is an association between dietary cholesterol from foods like eggs and disease risk, but doesn’t prove it is cause and effect. What’s more, dietary cholesterol wouldn’t be the only factor increasing people’s risk of heart and circulatory disease. Other factors such as lifestyle or genetics may have also played a part.”

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1    Victor W. Zhong, PhD1; Linda Van Horn, PhD1; Marilyn C. Cornelis, PhD1; et al (2019) Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality JAMA. 321(11):1081-1095 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2728487
2    Sabaté J, Burkholder-Cooley NM, Segovia-Siapco G et al. (2018) Unscrambling the relations of egg and meat consumption with type 2 diabetes risk. Am J Clin Nutr. 108(5): 1121-28

For further information please contact the British Egg Information Service on 020 7052 8899