Eggs = Cholesterol = Heart Disease According to a New Study

I just had a nice omelette for lunch.

Here’s CNN’s take on it: https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/15/healt…udy/index.html

A link to the JAMA article: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jam…stract/2728487

And the post I sent to a friend who was concerned:
OK… Immediate takeaways from the CNN article and the abstract of the Journal article. The study was a meta analysis – they took data from 6 different studies and combined it. The studies were observational and based on self-reported diet data (see quote below):

” Individual participant data were pooled from 6 prospective US cohorts using data collected between March 25, 1985, and August 31, 2016. Self-reported diet data were harmonized using a standardized protocol.”

The participants were around 50 years old at the time they started the study (in 1985) so you can bet that (a) a fair number already had early heart disease and (b) a lot of them were (or had been smokers).

The increase in risk was very small 3.2%, so really not something you need to worry about.

Also: how did they establish egg consumption? Did they include baked goods? Mayo? Other recipes where eggs are an ingredient?

The thing about meta analyses is they often combine disparate datasets which were not designed to test the hypothesis they’re trying to prove.

Observational studies, especially those which rely on self-reported diet questionnaires can’t prove anything beyond an association at best. Self-reporting diet (and alcohol consumption) is notoriously inaccurate and usually done fairly infrequently (some long term studies do them every 3 or 5 years). With the best will in the world, it’s impossible to answer accurately “how many times in the past 6 months did you eat eggs?” with check boxes for daily, 2x week, 1x week, rarely, never. I don’t know about you, but some weeks I’ll eat eggs every day, sometimes I’ll eat a couple at the weekend. Also asking about eggs, doesn’t give you any data about egg consumption where the eggs are part of a recipe (because people won’t necessarily think of them that way — someone who has a sandwich with mayo on it every day might well say they never eat eggs.)

Then there’s the observer bias: A lot of researchers are biased either because of their personal beliefs (7th Day Adventists are all vegetarian/vegan, and there are a lot of them in nutrition research), or because they get grant money from sources who have vested interests in particular outcomes…

TL;DR Ignore all the studies, just eat real food (in moderate quantities), get good quality sleep, a reasonable amount of exercise.

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