Remember all the medical advice for years about not eating eggs frequently (high cholesterol! heart disease!) and to instead eat egg white omelettes if one absolutely wanted to eat eggs? Remember the obsession with dietary cholesterol? Well, this recent research followed 1032 men for 21 years and found that a relatively high intake of dietary cholesterol, or eating one egg every day, was not associated with an elevated risk of incident coronary heart disease - not in the entire study population nor in those with the APOE4 phenotype. Also, the study did not establish a link between dietary cholesterol or eating eggs with thickening of the common carotid artery walls. Time to enjoy eggs again! From Science Daily:
A new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows that a relatively high intake of dietary cholesterol, or eating one egg every day, are not associated with an elevated risk of incident coronary heart disease. Furthermore, no association was found among those with the APOE4 phenotype, which affects cholesterol metabolism and is common among the Finnish population.
In the majority of population, dietary cholesterol affects serum cholesterol levels only a little, and few studies have linked the intake of dietary cholesterol to an elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases. Globally, many nutrition recommendations no longer set limitations to the intake of dietary cholesterol. However, in carriers of the apolipoprotein E type 4 allele -- which significantly impacts cholesterol metabolism -- the effect of dietary cholesterol on serum cholesterol levels is greater. In Finland, the prevalence of the APOE4 allele, which is a hereditary variant, is exceptionally high and approximately one third of the population are carriers.
The dietary habits of 1,032 men aged between 42 and 60 years and with no baseline diagnosis of a cardiovascular disease were assessed at the onset the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, KIHD, in 1984-1989 at the University of Eastern Finland. During a follow-up of 21 years, 230 men had a myocardial infarction, and 32.5 per cent of the study participants were carriers of APOE4.