Eating eggs does not increase stroke risk: How many eggs can you safely eat per day?


New Delhi: A lot has been said about whether protein-rich eggs are good for your health, particularly when it comes to cardiovascular health owing to its high cholesterol content. According to a new study, a moderately high intake of dietary cholesterol or consuming up to one egg per day does not increase the risk of stroke.

The study from the University of Eastern Finland also found no association among carriers of the APOE4 phenotype, which affects cholesterol metabolism. Earlier, some studies found a link between high dietary cholesterol intake and an increased risk of stroke. Other studies have linked the consumption of eggs to a reduced risk of stroke.

The findings, published in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that daily egg consumption or moderate intake of cholesterol are not associated with the risk of stroke, even in persons who are genetically predisposed to a greater effect of dietary cholesterol on serum cholesterol levels. It is said that one egg contains approximately 200 mg of cholesterol.

In the population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, KIHD, the researchers assessed a total of 1950 men aged 42-60 years with no baseline diagnosis of cardiovascular disease from 1984 to 1989. Data on APOE phenotype were available for 1,015 of the men participating in the study. Of those, 32% were known carriers of APOE4.

During a follow-up of 21 years, there were 217 incidences of stroke – 166 of ischemic stroke and 55 of hemorrhagic stroke. The researchers found that neither egg nor dietary cholesterol consumption was linked to stroke risk in the study – not even in carriers of APOE4.

However, the results remain limited considering the fact that participants did not have a pre-existing cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study. Moreover, the size of the study population was relatively small. Hence, more research is required and should be done in a larger cohort, including people with a pre-existing cardiovascular disease, who are advised to limit their intake of eggs and dietary cholesterol.

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