SOURCE: American Egg Board

May 23, 2006 07:00 ET

Review of Studies From Past 30 Years Reveals That Eggs Can Be a Part of a Healthy Diet

The Incredible Edible Egg May Have a Significant Role in Facilitating Weight Loss, Too

PARK RIDGE, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 23, 2006 -- A newly published review of research on dietary cholesterol and coronary heart disease supports the beneficial role of eggs in a healthy diet. The review, published in the March 2006 issue of the British Nutrition Foundation's Nutrition Bulletin, examines more than 30 studies conducted over the past 30 years (with more than half published in the past decade) and concludes that the dietary cholesterol in eggs "has no clinically significant impact" on coronary heart disease (CHD) risk.

Among the studies cited is a Harvard study that included more than a hundred thousand subjects and found no significant difference in cardiovascular disease risk between groups consuming less than one egg per day and those consuming more than one egg per day. The original study authors concluded that, "consumption of up to one egg per day is unlikely to have substantial overall impact on the risk of CHD or stroke among healthy men and women." (i)

More importantly, the authors, Dr. Bruce Griffin and Dr. A. Lee of the Centre for Nutrition & Food Safety, School of Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, University of Surrey, UK, stated, "to view eggs solely in terms of the effects of their dietary cholesterol… is to ignore the potential benefits of egg consumption on coronary risk factors, including obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome."

Mythbusters

The studies cited in the review, titled "Dietary Cholesterol, Eggs and Coronary Heart Disease Risk In Perspective," call into question a number of what the authors call popular ideas, or myths. The reviewers cite these findings, among others, that address many consumers' commonly held assumptions about eggs and weight loss:

--  Evidence suggests that dietary cholesterol and eggs may facilitate
    weight loss through feelings of "satiety," or the state of being
    satisfactorily full. Eggs, the authors note, "have been shown to have a 50
    percent greater satiety index as compared with ready-to-eat breakfast
    cereals and white bread." (ii)
--  Low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets that lead to a raised intake of
    dietary cholesterol through the increased consumption of eggs and meat
    "exert either no effect or potentially favourable effects" on LDL
    cholesterol, often referred to as the "bad" cholesterol. (iii), (iv)
    
"The decades' worth of studies examined in this review underscore the many positive effects eggs have on our health," says Donald J. McNamara, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center. "Based on the current evidence, healthy adults should feel confident that they can enjoy eggs daily without fear of cholesterol or heart disease."

Additionally, the Irish food board, Bord Bia, recently completed an extensive review of scientific studies on the health effects of eggs and, as a result of the findings, now recommends the consumption of one egg a day as part of a healthy, balanced diet. (v)

Naturally Nutrient Rich

Eggs are naturally nutrient rich. One egg provides 13 essential nutrients -- including high quality protein, choline, folate, iron and zinc -- for only about 75 calories. Experts recommend choosing nutrient dense foods, such as eggs, to help get needed nutrients without excess calories.

About the American Egg Board (AEB)

AEB is the U.S. egg producer's link to the consumer in communicating the value of the incredible egg and is funded from a national legislative checkoff on all egg production from companies with greater than 75,000 layers, in the continental United States. The board consists of 18 members and 18 alternates from all regions of the country who are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The AEB staff carries out the programs under the board direction. AEB is located in Park Ridge, Ill. Visit www.aeb.org for more information.

About the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC)

ENC was established in 1979 for the purpose of providing commercial egg producers and processors, health promotion agencies, and consumers with a resource for scientifically accurate information on egg nutrition and the role of eggs in the health and nutrition of the American diet. The center exists under a cooperative agreement between the American Egg Board (AEB) and United Egg Producers (UEP). ENC is located in Washington, DC. Visit www.enc-online.org for more information.

(i) Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB et al. (1999) A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. Journal of the American Medical Association 281: 1387-94.

(ii) Holt SHA, Brand-Miller JC, Petocz P et al. (1995) A satiety index of common foods. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 49: 675-90.

(iii) Foster GD, Wyatt HR, Hill JO et al. (2003) A randomised trial of low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine 348: 2082-90.

(iv) Samaha FF, Iqbal N, Seshadri P et al. (2003) A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine 348: 2074-81.

(v) Duffy E and Sinead McCarthy (2006). Overview of the Nutritional Role of Eggs in the Diet.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Egg Nutrition Media Hotline
    312-233-1211