An association between egg consumption and the risk of CVD and mortality was studied in a prospective cohort study of 21,327 participants of the Pysician's Health Study I conducted from 1982 to 1995. Physician's consumption of eggs was assessed with a food questionnaire. In a 20 year follow up it was found that those men who consumed 7 or more eggs per week were found to have a modest increase in risk of Cardiovascular disease. A greater risk was found in participants with Type II diabetes.
Thus the recommendation to limit egg consumption to 6 or less a week.
It is important to understand that the test subjects in this study were male physicians aged 40-86 and mainly caucasian. It was also found that the increased egg consumption was related to men who died, not the men who had increased heart attack and stroke. These men were also more likely to smoke, eat more vegetables (huh?) drink and exercise less. What was not studied is what else the men were eating with the eggs and the rest of the day.
The Physicians Health Study was quite large. It was designed to study a multitude of questions but not really effectively answer those questions. Many abstracts were written from the data collected, including aspirin's effect on heart attacks, heart disease, Parkinsons disease, cataracts and the list goes on.
In a follow up study. A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. results differed. While this study also used a questionnaire it was found that there was no evidence of an overall significant association between egg consumption and risk of CVD or stroke in either men or women. There was enough increase of risk associated with diabetes (type was not specified in the abstract) that should warrant further study.
There were studies conducted in other countries whose results also reveal no or less association of eggs and CVD.
What would really be valuable is a study that looks at egg consumption and Paleo eating Crossfitters. Because isn't that what we are? Not sedentary, smoking, trans fat eating, high calorie dieters.
What does this mean to me and my breakfast? Well, I plan to eat my eggs. I am too lazy to separate the yolks from the whites. I tend to eat two at a time. I also put eggs in my salads. I also get on food kicks. I'll spend a week eating eggs then I'll get bored and lay off them for a while. I am unaware of any studies that assess periodic over consumption of eggs.
What does it mean to you? You'll have to decide. I say enjoy your eggs. As you begin your paleo life, the convenience of eggs cannot be denied. Soon you'll be eating last nights left over chicken breast and broccoli for breakfast and rely less on the traditional morning foods.
More info to come about the lovely egg.
Living Paleo is a choice of a lifestyle that begins with your diet.