Increased egg consumption does not raise CVD risk in diabetics

Despite conflicting reports, eating as many as a dozen eggs per week does not increase the cardiovascular risk for individuals with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, according to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Despite differing advice around safe levels of egg consumption for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, our research indicates people do not need to hold back from eating eggs if this is part of a healthy diet,” Fuller said.

Some dietary guidelines recommend people with type 2 diabetes limit consumption of eggs and cholesterol.

The researchers, led by Nicholas Fuller, PhD, of the Boden Institute for Obesity, Nutrition, Sports and Nutritional Disorders at the University of Sydney in Australia, aimed to determine whether commonly dietary advice around egg consumption is accurate and if it creates changes in cardiometabolic markers in patients with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetics.

“While eggs themselves are high in dietary cholesterol—and people with type 2 diabetes tend to have higher levels of the ‘bad’ low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol—this study supports existing research that shows consumption of eggs has little effect on the levels of cholesterol in the blood of the people eating them,” Fuller and colleagues said.

The authors previously published a three-month weight maintenance study that showed consumption of more than 12 eggs a week did not have adverse effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Participants with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes were prescribed a three-month daily energy restriction diet, while continuing high or low egg consumption. They continued the same weight loss program for a year and with follow-up at nine and 12 months.

The researchers found from three to 12 months, the weight loss was similar between at all stages. Additionally, both groups showed no adverse effects in cardiometabolic risk factors. Researchers found no differences between the groups in regard to glycemia, traditional serum lipids, markers of inflammation, oxidative stress or adiponectin.

“Eggs are a source of protein and micronutrients that could support a range of health and dietary factors including helping to regulate the intake of fat and carbohydrate, eye and heart health, healthy blood vessels and healthy pregnancies,” Fuller et al. said.