Regular Egg Intake May Not Increase Risk of Diabetes

If you are at least 65 years old and love to eat eggs a few times a week, a new study which showed no association between egg intake and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, may just improve your day. The study was conducted by Dr. Luc Djousse and colleagues by following almost 3,900 men and women 65 years old and above for eleven years. Of these participants, 313 developed type 2 diabetes over the course of the study.
After evaluating dietary habits of the participants, the researchers observed that there was very little variation in the incidence of type 2 diabetes among those who never consumed egg, those who had less than 1 egg per month, those who ate 1 to 3 eggs per month, and those who had 1 to 4 eggs per week. There was a slightly higher incidence of diabetes risk for men consuming eggs almost daily, but this disappeared when the researchers adjusted the results to account for possible confounding factors such as smoking status, BMI, alcohol intake, physical activity and fiber intake.  This finding appears to be consistent with a previous study of almost 60,000 people which also showed an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes among people who consumed 7 or more eggs per week compared to those with lower egg consumption.
Analysis of total dietary cholesterol and its association with type 2 diabetes was also performed during the study, but the researchers were similarly unable to establish a significant link between the two.
Type 2 diabetes, a common condition among the elderly population, is caused by the body’s inability to respond to the action of insulin, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels that can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels and nerves over time.   Diet is one factor which increases an individual’s risk for developing the condition. To date, however, there has been very little research done on the relationship between consumption of eggs and type 2 diabetes in humans.
An egg contains approximately 200 mg of dietary cholesterol, about two-thirds of the daily recommended intake for cholesterol in healthy adults. Aside from this, an egg also contains proteins, vitamins, fatty acids and minerals which are beneficial to the body. Since eggs are inexpensive and always available, the researchers said that, “it is important to elucidate the net effects of egg consumption as a whole food (as opposed to individual component of eggs such as cholesterol) on the risk of type 2 diabetes.”

The results of the research was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It concluded that no significant association was found between dietary cholesterol or regular egg consumption up to “almost every day” and increased type 2 diabetes risk in participants aged 65 or older.

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