Heart Disease and Stroke - Eating Egg Yolks almost as bad as Smoking Cigarettes

credit: National Cancer Institute Renee Comet (Photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) - A new study found that a person who ate egg yolks on a regular basis had an increased risk for developing atherosclerosis. They also had a two-thirds increased risk for plaque buildup in their arteries as a person who smoked cigarettes. The study results were published in the online edition of the journal Atherosclerosis.

Coronary artery disease, called atherosclerosis, occurs when plaque accumulates in the arteries. It is believed that the plaque is accelerated by excess cholesterol in the blood. The plaque builds up on the inside walls of the arteries and pieces could break off, which could lead to a heart attack or a stroke.

The research involved surveying 1,231 male and female patients with a mean average age of 61.5 years. The patients were going to the vascular prevention clinics at the London Health Sciences Centre's University Hospital.

The participants were asked about their cigarette smoking and egg yolk consumption in a questionnaire. They answered questions about how many packs they smoked a day and the numbers of years they were smoking. They were also asked how many egg yolks they ate each week and how many years they have done this.

The results showed an increase in carotid plaque buildup that occurred in a linear pattern after age of 40. The smokers and egg yolk eaters had an exponential increase in their artery buildup. The patients reported to have eaten three or more egg yolks weekly had a significant plaque accumulation on the inside of their artery walls compared to those who ate two or less egg yolks every week.

Lead author, Dr. David Spence of Western University, Canada Professor of Neurology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the Director of its Stroke Prevention and Atherosclerosis Research Centre (SPARC) at the Robarts Research Institute, said that egg yolks have very high cholesterol levels. He said that diabetics that eat an egg with a yolk every day have a two to five-fold increased coronary risk. Dr. Spence said, “In the long haul, egg yolks are not okay for most Canadians.”

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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