Egg a day tied to lower risk of heart disease, often co-morbid in CKD

People struggling with chronic kidney disease, often face a plethora of co-morbid conditions, and one of the most dangerous of these is heart disease. But a popular staple of your food pantry may be able to help prevent that, according to a new study. This recent Chinese study suggests that people who consume an egg a day have a lower chance of having heart attack than people who don’t eat eggs.

The study was done on a sample size of 461,213 adults with an average age of 51 years. The researchers made sure that none of the sample population had any history of heart disease as at the start of the study. On the average, they consumed about half an egg daily. About 13 percent of them ate an egg daily while about 9 percent avoided eggs altogether.

The participants were closely followed for over 9 years and during this period, it was observed that 9,985 died from conditions such as stroke, heart attack or heart diseases while a total of 83,977 developed these conditions even though they were still alive.

Further analysis revealed that those who consumed about 0.76 eggs per day were 11 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who never ate eggs in that period. It was also observed that there was an 18% less likelihood to die from heart related conditions in the patients that ate eggs.

A researcher at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Dr. Luc Djousse, who wasn’t involved in the study stated that the statistics came as a relief to those people in places where eggs serve as their major source of protein and other nutrients. The idea that moderate consumption of egg results in a reduction in risk of having a stroke or heart disease.

That said, people shouldn’t rush to make 3-egg omelet for breakfast everyday. The study only focused on the effects of moderate consumption of eggs one or less – and said nothing about consumption of multiple eggs per day.

People with high risk of heart disease are not advised to take eggs, and particularly if you are diabetic, you should avoid eggs according to Dr. J. David Spence of the Western University Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Center in London, Ontario.

Spence who wasn’t involved in the research noted that eggs could increase the risk of vascular disease and that’s because there is phosphatidylcholine, a chemical that is capable of clogging arteries contained in the egg yolk.

Eggs may be the main source of dietary cholesterol but they are also rich in lean protein and lots of vitamins. The results of previous studies on the link between eggs and heart disease hasn’t been consistent; some results suggesting that it increases the chances of heart diseases while some other suggesting that it is highly beneficial and reduces the risk of having these conditions.

Cholesterol remains a major part of this equation.

Djousse stated that eggs contain about 200 milligram of cholesterol and it used to be the general inclination of scientists that egg consumption would only lead to increased cholesterol levels in the blood.

Some more recent study however, suggests that eggs have the capacity to block the liver from making low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the bad cholesterol that could accumulate in the blood vessls, thus resulting in blood clots and heart attacks while boosting high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the good type needed for proper blood flow.

That said, this study wast a controlled study aimed at proving how much impact eggs might have in developing cardiovascular disease or even dying as a result of cardiovascular conditions. We tried to get a comment from Canqing Yu and Liming Li of Peking University Health Science Center in Beijing but couldn’t get them to respond.

There is also the fact that results obtained from a Chinese sample may not be applicable to all parts of the world. Most of the participants were of healthy weight and had no history or family involvement with heart related diseases.

In the United States for instance, where a good number of the adults are overweight, with constant consumption of foods like meat and potatoes while consuming very little fruit and vegetables, the impact of eggs on heart disease might just have a very different implication.

The AHA recommends the Mediterranean style diet or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet for optimal heart health. Both diets are highly rich in low fat dairy products, vegetables, fruits, nuts, unsaturated vegetable oil, poultry, whole grains and fish and they both restrict the consumption of red meat as well as drinks and foods with high salt and sugar content.

With kidney disease, of course, protein values are important to monitor and eggs are widely known for their high protein. However, it’s important to note that eggs can be a part of a healthy kidney disease diet so that CKD patients can reap the heart health benefits associated with them, provided it’s done carefully. Liquid egg whites are typically the best way to consume eggs when you have kidney disease, in order to lower phosphorous levels while keeping your albumin levels healthy. 

For more kidney diet tips, be sure to check out our All-Natural Kidney Disease Program complete with diet plans, grocery shopping lists and tons of kidney-friendly recipes.