Egg yolks can block arteries: study
Story Dated: Thursday, August 16, 2012 21:4 hrs IST
Toronto: Eating egg yolk is just as bad as smoking for atherosclerosis since it leads to accumulation of fat and cholesterol which causes hardening of arteries by forming plaques on its walls, a new study has found.
The study which surveyed 1,231 patients at Western University, Canada, found regular consumption of egg yolks is about two-thirds as bad as smoking regarding increased build-up of plaque, a risk factor for stroke and heart attack.
Researchers looked at data from men and women, with a mean age of 61.5 years, attending vascular prevention clinics at London Health Sciences Centre's University Hospital, the journal Atherosclerosis reported hardening of arteries by plaques within its walls.
Ultrasound was used to establish a measurement of total plaque area and questionnaires were filled out regarding their lifestyle and medications including pack-years of smoking (number of packs per day of cigarettes times the number of years), and the number of egg yolks consumed per week times the number of years consumed (egg yolk-years).
The study also found those eating three or more yolks a week had significantly more plaque area than those who ate two or fewer yolks per week, according to a Western University statement.
"The mantra 'eggs can be part of a healthy diet for healthy people' has confused the issue. It has been known for a long time that a high cholesterol intake increases the risk of cardiovascular events, and egg yolks have a very high cholesterol content. In diabetics, an egg a day increases coronary risk by two to five-fold," said David Spence, professor of neurology at Western University.