62 Responses to “Egg yolk consumption, carotid plaque & bad science”


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  1. avatar Dave P says:

    If you use eggs that have been lain by hens fed on an “Industrial Diet”, That don`t have the same nutrient composition as their free roaming cousins then it is i think possible there is a modicum of truth in the story.

    The same applies with Meat that has been reared on an ” Industrial Diet” as opposed to those raised on grass pasture.

    For most, a trip to the local SuperMarket is as near as they get to knowing anything about the animal / Vegetable or its existence. Wben in the 21st century you still read about X% of children that dont know Fish Fingers arnt a real fish or Chicken Nuggets dont come from anywhere near a farm, There has been a successful disjoint between real and perception, Well done Admen !

    If you buy the value range of whatever Product the chances are this story will have some meaning………. The dialemna is that many cant afford to do otherwise due to Budgetary constraints.

  2. avatar Sylvester T Down says:

    I have been having Three rashers of Bacon and Two Eggs, cooked in a small amount of butter, each morning since last November. My Cholestrol has come down from 5.98 to last weeks check of 3.57. My case rests

  3. avatar Kevin says:

    This review is as bad as the article.
    The study acknowledges that it is an association and not a causation between the variables. They also found a strong correlation between egg-yolk years and TPA after adjusting for the linear relationship between age and TPA, so the issue of age as a confounding variable has already been dealt with. This review fails to mention that.
    Also, as acknowledged by the authors, the study used a sample of already at risk patients and never tries to apply this to the general population, what the newspapers write has nothing to do with the Canadian researchers.
    A study does not need to explain a possible mechanism, it can be exploratory. They concluded that their hypothesis should be tested in a prospective study which would deal with confounders, allowing them to work towards a possible mechanism if the results call for one.
    It was by no means a perfect study, but this review doesn’t tell the whole story.

  4. avatar gollum says:

    Thanks for pointing out that.

    However, I urge you to reread the study; they claim it is nonlinear but when I read it, I thought “this is built on pretty shaky sand”. If I remember correctly, the “nonlinearity” showed up as a dot in quintil 5 that was higher than “it should have been”. One dot. Then there was some issue with plaque linear to age only after a certain (age) offset, I believe. Meaning before that, you can accumulate “egg yolk years”, skewing things.

    You are right that non-general population isn’t the researchers’ fault. I suppose they got this data as a side effect of their practice and should be lauded for not throwing it away. However, reading the study, my impression was that it was evaluated and presented in pretty inelegant ways. Quintiles etc. just invite artefacts.

  5. avatar Kevin says:

    They actually adjusted for age in 2 ways.
    First, they did not use egg-yolk years here, as age is obviously associated with that on top of being associated with TPA. Instead, they split the sample into 2 categories, 2 or fewer eggs/week and 3 or more eggs/week. So this really has nothing to do with any of the problems associated with using the variable “egg-yolk years”.
    Then they also adjusted for the correlation of age and TPA.

    The difference they found was still statistically significant.

    I’m defending the article only as much as it deserves to be defended. the study adjusted for age and still found statistical significance. I just didn’t like how this review avoids acknowledging this.

    What I think would be a better way to shed light on the meaning of this study is to look at the clinical significance of the results. The difference between the age adjusted findings is only approximately 6% increase in mean TPA, and one standard deviation is over 100% of the mean… The reason why this is the case is hard to determine based on the lack of control for diet and exercise in the study

    your right it was inelegant. But remember they are researchers not writers.

  6. avatar The Tamperer says:

    Let’s not take the risk that we’ll regret later on! If everybody would be wise enough to just eat a couple of eggs a week it would be the smartest and wisest choice as far as health and dietary choices are concerned. Aside from making that wise choice everyone should be on the move – that is, regular exercise, healthy diet, cut down altogether with smoking, moderate alcohol consumption (but abstinence for those who never drank alcohol) and regular health consultation with the doctor.

  7. avatar Orpheus says:

    I eat 1-2 (on average) eggs PER DAY (not weekly) and have for, at least, 3 decades, and am 56 years old.

    My comprehensive physical occurred in mid-December, which included full diagnostic panels, blood work, etc.

    Clean bill of health; everything well within normal ranges: cholesterol = 179; BP = 112/79 (doc had to take 3 readings because he could not believe it); lipids, HDL, LDL, etc. – all excellent!

    All that, and I’m still a bit overweight (as per actuarial charts but conisder the source) but I exercise (cardio/strength) a few times weekly, and don’t booze/smoke.

    And I am not exactly “the exception to the rule”; simply because (as this piece pointed out) there are many other factors involved in plaque levels in the arteries that the “study” critiqued herein did not consider.

    Finally, to compare egg consumption with tobacco use is just patently absurd.

  8. avatar Kim says:

    “Or maybe they do inject egg yolks in Canada?!”

    I love your review of this “study” but please don’t paint all Canadians with the same brush! We’re as diverse a population as you’ll find in any country, including Briton! You’ve got your share of absurd and bizarre proponents of bad science and bad nutrition advice just as we do, just as Americans do, just as every country does.

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