Monday, April 21, 2008

An Egg a Day Means Trouble For Men

tidbits that tantalizeCan You Count to Six?

Are you a fan? Do you love the sizzle and pop of eggs frying in the skillet? Well, you're certainly not alone. More than 70 billion eggs were consumed in the United States in 2000. That's a bunch of breakfast. But, though they're fantastically tasty, are they good for you?

Much ado has been made in recent years about the cholesterol in eggs. Several studies have pointed to eggs as a food to absolutely avoid. But, often in the same week, other studies have said eggs are terrific sources of protein and essential amino acids. It makes breakfast decisions quite complicated.

Well, a new study - yes, certainly to be refuted next week - indicates it may not be an all-or-nothing choice when it comes to eggs. It may have to do with balance. The study indicates that up to six eggs per week seems quite healthy. It's egg number seven that appears to be the culprit.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School analyzed data from over 20,000 male physicians participating in the Physician's Health Study. This is a large study that has been tracking the health and lifestyle of doctors since 1981. The team looked at the egg consumption habits of the men, and the rate of fatality, over a twenty-year period.

Interestingly, the study found no correlation between egg consumption and heart attack or stroke. But, the overall rates of death, from any cause, were significantly higher for men who consumed seven or more eggs each week. These men were 23% more likely to have died in the previous twenty years than men who consumed six or fewer eggs per week.

The news was even worse for diabetic men. Diabetics who consumed any eggs were twice as likely to have died in the twenty-year period.

Further study, of course, is needed. There is the potential that other co-factors, such as being overweight, smoking, or drinking may have contributed to the outcomes of men who ate the most eggs.

So, what's the bottom line? Well, even as the debate rages on, it appears that if you can count to six you should be OK.

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about the healthy side of eggs, see this from The World's Healthiest Foods.


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