Too Many Eggs Risky?
Study Shows Higher Death Rate Among Men Who Eat 7 or More Eggs per Week; Egg Advocates Unconvinced
WebMD News Archive
Egg Advocate Responds
Donald McNamara, PhD, is the executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center,
which is backed by the American Egg Board and the United Egg Producers. He
raises three key points about the study.
"First off is that we don't know what they died of," McNamara says.
"We know it wasn't related to cardiovascular disease or strokes. But we
don't have any information about what it really was related to."
"I can't imagine that eating more than 6 eggs a week is going to cause
you to drive off a bridge or speed," McNamara says. "It doesn't have a
rational biological mechanism at this point that I can really put my finger
Second, McNamara says the study doesn't include enough information on what
else the men were eating. For instance, he notes that in a 1999 study published
in The Journal of the American Medical Association, eggs weren't related
to men's heart disease risk after
adjusting for bacon consumption.
Third, McNamara criticizes the researchers' analysis of other risk factors.
He says that the study doesn't consider interaction between risk factors and
contradicts previous research.
"I think one, it needs to be reproduced. Two, I'd like to know what they
died of and three, I'd like to know what other things are in their diets that
might be related to increased risk," McNamara concludes.
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, is WebMD's director of nutrition.
"I'm a huge fan of eggs," says Zelman, who questions whether the
study dug deeply enough into the men's diets and lifestyles.
As for the higher death rate among men who ate seven or more eggs per week,
"to pin it on eggs would be short-sighted," Zelman says.
Her advice: If you want to have more than one egg on a given day, "have
them less often or try adding more egg whites and fewer egg yolks." Anyone
with a chronic condition such as diabetes "needs to be more careful about
dietary choices and would benefit from a consultation with a registered
dietitian," she says.
"By and large, eggs are super nutritious, good-for-you foods. You just
need to make sure you don't overdo it," Zelman says.