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Eggs Don't Constrict Arteries

Eating three eggs at one time or taking two eggs per day for six weeks does not constrict arteries in people with high cholesterol, while eating a single sausage/cheese breakfast sandwich does (1). Constricted arteries, called endothelial dysfunction, cause arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attacks and diabetes (2); while opening arteries is associated with reversal of arteriosclerosis (3).

In the same study, people who ate egg whites (but not the yolks) daily for six weeks had less artery constriction than those who ate the whole eggs. The authors do not explain this finding. Multiple studies show little, if any, evidence that eating eggs is associated with increased risk for heart attacks or death (4). The main concern about eggs is their extremely high concentration of cholesterol. However, research has failed to show that dietary cholesterol, itself, increases heart attack risk because the relationship of egg consumption to heart attacks depends not just on eggs, but on the total diet (5). Large population studies do show increased risk for heart attacks in people who eat mammal meat (6), but not those who eat poultry. Those who eat fish and plants have reduced heart attack risk.

1. Nutrition Journal, July 2010
2. Atherosclerosis 1997, 129:111-118
3. Am J Cardiol 1995, 75:71B-74B24
4. JAMA 1999;281:1387-1394.48; British Medical Journal 1990;300(6727):771-773
5. Am J Clin Nutr 2002, 75(2):333-335
6. Archives of Internal Medicine, March 2009

Checked 7/4/10

May 10th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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