People’s Pharmacy: Have eggs been given a bad rap?

Q: I gave up eating eggs years ago due to high cholesterol. I have been eating only egg substitutes. I recently heard that eating eggs doesn’t really raise cholesterol. If this is true, I would love to go back to eating real eggs again.



A: For decades, dietary dogma has kept many people from eating eggs. Because yolks are rich in cholesterol, some scientists assumed that eating whole eggs would raise blood cholesterol and increase the risk for heart disease.

This assumption was accepted without evidence.

When investigators looked at the data, they found that eating up to one egg daily had little impact on stroke or heart-disease risk (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 21, 1999).

There is even an experiment showing that egg consumption is linked to higher levels of good HDL cholesterol and markers of improved retinal health in the eye (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2009).

People vary in their response to eggs, so it is important to monitor blood lipid levels. Those with diabetes should exercise particular caution, because studies suggest eggs do raise the risk for heart disease for that group.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. 
E-mail them via their 
Web site: www.peoples They can be reached at peoplespharmacy

Become a fan of AJC Health Care on Facebook and follow ajchealthcare on Twitter for more health care news and health advice.

5 comments Add your comment

Steffan Lozinak

April 17th, 2010
5:19 pm

As they say, everything in moderation. I personally am a Vegan, so eggs are not a question for me, though I feel as long as you are not eating 3+ per meal, they are probably healthy. It’s all a matter of being in touch with your body.


April 21st, 2010
9:02 am

It’s funny how many people won’t eat eggs due to cholesterol, but can’t wait to get their daily cheeseburger & fry combo at the local drive-thru.


April 23rd, 2010
10:35 am

I have eaten between 3-12 eggs most weeks in my life. I’m 50 years old and 125lbs. My annual blood tests show the correct amount of HD/LD levels. More important is what else goes into your body. It’s always the total picture, not just a snapshot. I love eggs and will eat them regularly until the day I die.


May 3rd, 2010
4:24 pm

sounds like egghead LOVES him some drive thrus!!!
totally agree! people are afraid of eating eggs but love boxed food!!??

Slappy Harlock

May 20th, 2010
4:53 pm

Yes but I keep telling people to take the shell off first.