Scientists from Peking University found that eating one egg per day is linked to lower heart disease risk.
Eggs are a low-energy, nutrient-dense source of food, being particularly rich in selenium and vitamin D.
Along with certain kinds of shellfish, eggs are also the main source of dietary cholesterol: a medium-sized egg of 58 g contains 200 mg of cholesterol.
Previous research has found that eggs are highly nutritious, may support eye health, and help manage body weight.
But few studies have tested the role of metabolic health in the link between eating eggs and the risk of heart diseases.
In this study, the team aimed to examine the associations of eating eggs with metabolic biomarkers and the associations of these markers with the risk of heart disease.
They tested 4778 people, of which 3401 people had heart disease and 1377 were healthy. These people aged 30–79 were selected from the China Kadoorie Biobank.
The researchers used targeted nuclear magnetic resonance to test 225 metabolic biomarkers. They found that eating eggs were linked to 24 out of 225 metabolic biomarkers.
Among these 24 markers, 14 were linked to heart disease risk. In general, the associations of eating eggs with metabolic markers and of these markers with heart disease risk showed opposite patterns.
For example, eating eggs is linked to higher levels of metabolic markers and the higher levels of markers were linked to a lower risk of heart disease risk.
The team concluded that in the Chinese population, eating eggs is linked to several heart metabolic markers, which may partially explain why moderate egg eating (one egg per day) seems to help protect against heart disease.
The research is published in eLife and was conducted by Lang Pan et al.
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