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A recent study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session challenges the traditional view of eggs as detrimental to heart health due to their high cholesterol content. The study suggests that fortified varieties of eggs may not pose the same risks, contrary to previous beliefs.

Eggs do not affect cholesterol levels even in high risk population

In the 1970s, the American Heart Association advised limiting egg consumption due to concerns about cholesterol content. A single egg contains approximately 186 milligrams of cholesterol, surpassing half of the daily recommended limit at the time.

Recent studies have challenged the negative perception of eggs due to their cholesterol content. Research indicates that dietary cholesterol has less effect on blood cholesterol levels compared to saturated and trans fats. In 2015, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans eliminated the recommended limit on cholesterol intake, emphasizing the importance of minimizing intake of dietary cholesterol while focusing on reducing saturated and trans fat consumption to lower the risk of heart disease.

The PROSPERITY trial, a controlled study, explores the impact of consuming fortified eggs enriched with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and selenium on heart health markers. The study compared participants consuming 12 or more fortified eggs per week to those eating fewer than two eggs weekly over four months. Results suggest no significant differences in “good” HDL cholesterol or “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, despite all participants being at high risk for heart disease.

Fortified eggs have no effects on lipid levels

The study led by Dr. Nina Nouhravesh from the Duke Clinical Research Institute found that consuming fortified eggs over four months had no adverse effects on lipid levels, even among a high-risk population. Additionally, participants who consumed fortified eggs showed potential improvements in various heart health markers such as total cholesterol, LDL particle number, and insulin resistance scores. These findings hint at the potential cardiac benefits of consuming fortified eggs.

Despite limitations, like size and relying on self-reported data, the study highlights a new aspect in the ongoing debate on eggs, suggesting that fortified eggs may offer better heart health benefits compared to conventional ones.