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Egg consumption and cardiovascular disease

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 04 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m744

Linked Research

Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease

  1. Andrew O Odegaard, assistant professor
  1. Department of Epidemiology, University of California, Irvine, 632 East Peltason Drive, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
  1. aodegaar{at}

Stop counting eggs and move to healthier overall dietary patterns

Can the following two statements be simultaneously true? Firstly, that eggs (largely from chickens) are a basic whole food frequently consumed by people across populations and cultures, which affordably support the nutritional needs of societies. Secondly, that eggs are an oval shaped missile of dietary cholesterol that perpetuate the high cardiovascular disease risk faced by populations worldwide.12

Convincing evidence indicates that the first statement is true, particularly when viewed from a basic nutrition or public health perspective.2 The second statement has attracted attention from scientists, clinicians, and the public for over 50 years and is a historical hypothesis characterising eggs as a potential nutritional bogeyman for cardiovascular risk.3 The residue of this hypothesis has been the impetus for a large body of research, including most recently, the substantial contribution by Drouin-Chartier and colleagues in a linked article in The BMJ (doi:10.1136/bmj.m513).4

These authors examined habitual egg intake (assessed by food frequency questionnaires) and …

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