The Risk of Egg on Health

The Risk of Egg on Health

Eating an egg a day could be your ticket to health issues. Regular egg consumption is linked to a number of diseases, giving you plenty of reasons to eliminate it from your meals and take to a plant-based diet.[1] The risk of egg on health goes beyond cardiovascular problems. Recent research links egg consumption to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. A Northwestern University study[2] reveals that regular egg consumption could pose a high risk of cardiovascular disease and death, recommending a low cholesterol diet to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Did you know that saturated fat makes a large portion of an egg, with almost 60 percent calories coming from fat and 186 milligrams of cholesterol?[3]

The Risk of Eggs and Heart Disease

A research report published in Atherosclerosis states that regular egg consumption poses a high risk of heart disease. The greater the egg intake, the higher the risk, with those consuming eggs having higher coronary artery calcium scores. Consumption of more than seven eggs a week increases your risk of coronary artery calcium scores by 83 percent.[4] The higher the score, the greater the risk of heart disease! The risk further rises for those whose diet is deficient in plant food.

The risk from eggs emanates from their high saturated fat and lack of fiber. Your liver makes cholesterol from saturated fat and trans fat in food. So there is a high risk of elevated blood cholesterol for a person on an egg diet. Regular egg consumption also appears to pose a risk of hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.

When a person on a low-cholesterol diet changes to an egg diet, there is a clear change in their blood cholesterol levels and a heightened risk for heart disease. Research suggests that the risk of heart attack from frequent egg consumption rises due to the presence of a nonessential nutrient found in eggs. Researchers noticed a spike in toxicity when participants consumed egg. Toxicity is primarily attributed to the breaking down of choline in the gut, which promotes atherosclerosis and can trigger heart problems.[5]

Those who eat meat produce more toxic choline byproducts than vegans or vegetarians after ingestion of L-carnitine. Research shows that patients with known heart disease have a higher plasma L-carnitine concentrations and a greater risk of subsequent cardiovascular events.

Besides, researchers[6] speculate that the toxicity from high choline intake could cause inflammation and result in the progression of prostate cancer.

Egg and Diabetes: Is There A Risk?

Diabetics have an even higher risk of developing heart disease with regular egg consumption. Indulgence in a fat-rich diet can interfere with insulin’s ability to bring glucose into the cells.

According to a review[7] published in the Atherosclerosis journal, the risk of diabetes increased by 68 percent for those on an egg-based diet. Another review study[8] shared similar concerns, reporting that there was a 39 percent greater risk of diabetes for people eating three or more eggs every week.

Another study finds that there is 25 percent greater risk of death for those consuming seven or more eggs per week compared to those with the lowest consumption of egg. For a diabetic, the risk of death increased by twofold.

Egg is a rich source of dietary cholesterol, which may inhibit or disrupt glucose metabolism in the body. Egg consumption is associated with a risk of type 2 diabetes. A study[9] conducted on egg consumption and risk in women warns that the women who consume more than seven eggs a week are at a 77 percent greater risk of diabetes.

Cancer and Egg

Frequent consumption of egg may pose a high risk of cancer. The toxicity resulting from the breakdown of choline by the intestinal bacteria may promote the growth of prostate, colon, breast, rectal, ovary, or bladder cancer. Unfortunately, research[10] claims that there is a high risk of cancer even for people consuming small amounts of eggs.

It makes the digestive tract especially vulnerable to cancer. A study[11] warns that eating two eggs a week may increase the risk of prostate and ovarian cancer. The research further claims that the risk goes down only to 70% if one egg is consumed per week. The study elucidates that dietary cholesterol plays a role in the synthesis of sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. Sex hormones are known to promote cell growth. Any increase in sex hormones may induce cancerous growth in ovary and prostate tissues.

Research[12] finds a positive association between egg consumption and rectum cancer in women. The more the consumption of eggs, the higher the risk for cancer and death from rectal or colon cancer!

Even moderate consumption of fried egg poses a high risk of bladder cancer.[13]

On the other hand, vegetarian and vegan diets based on plant foods support higher immune function and are rich in cancer protective phytochemicals.[14]

Egg Whites

Egg whites are rich sources of protein. There is a connection between high protein diets and kidney disease and some types of cancer. Contrarily, plant food offers the added benefit of fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins. In addition, plant protein is enriched with antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are associated with warding off free radicals.

Egg Substitutions

Eggs can be easily substituted in vegan recipes. Applesauce, chia seeds, flax seeds, and psyllium husk are excellent binders and work as great egg substitutes.

When you swap eggs for plant-based foods, you can derive long-term health benefits and reduce your intake of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. A plant-based diet can promote health and longevity and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.



[1] Tuso, P. J., Ismail, M. H., Ha, B. P., & Bartolotto, C. (2013). Nutritional update for physicians: plant-based diets. The Permanente journal, 17(2), 61–66. doi:10.7812/TPP/12-085

[2] Northwestern University. (2019). Higher egg and cholesterol consumption hikes heart disease and early death risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 7, 2019 from

[3] Spence, J. D., Jenkins, D. J., & Davignon, J. (2010). Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: not for patients at risk of vascular disease. The Canadian journal of cardiology, 26(9), e336–e339. doi:10.1016/s0828-282x(10)70456-6

[4] Robbins, J. M., et al. (2014). Association of egg consumption and calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries: the NHLBI Family Heart Study. e-SPEN journal, 9(3), e131–e135. doi:10.1016/j.clnme.2014.04.004

[5] Tang, W.H., Wang, Z., et al. (2013). Intestinal microbial metabolism of phosphatidylcholine and cardiovascular risk. New England Journal of Medicine,368(17),1575-84.

[6] Richman, E. L., et al. (2012). Choline intake and risk of lethal prostate cancer: incidence and survival. American journal of clinical nutrition, 96(4), 855–863. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.039784

[7] Li, Y., Zhou, C., Zhou, X., Li, L. (2013). Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes: a meta-analysis. Atherosclerosis, 229(2):524-30. doi: 10.1016/j.

[8] Djousse, L., Khawaja, O.A., Gaziano, J.M. (2016). Egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis of prospective studies. American journal of clinical nutrition. 103(2):474-80. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.119933.

[9] Djoussé, L., Gaziano, J. M., Buring, J. E., & Lee, I. M. (2009). Egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Diabetes Care,32(2), 295-300.

[10] Aune, D., De Stefani, E. (2009). Egg consumption and the risk of cancer: a multisite case-control study in Uruguay. Asian pacific journal of cancer prevention,10(5),869-76.

[11] Zeng, S.T., Guo, L., et al. (2015). Egg consumption is associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer: Evidence from a meta-analysis of observational studies. Clinical Nutrition, 34(4),635-41. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2014.07.009. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

[12] Steinmetz, K.A. & Potter, J.D. (1994). Egg consumption and cancer of the colon and rectum. European journal of cancer prevention, 3(3):237-45.

[13] Li, F., Zhou, Y., et al. (2013). Egg consumption and risk of bladder cancer: a meta-analysis. Nutrition and cancer, 65(4):538-46. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.770041.

[14] Key T. J. (2011). Fruit and vegetables and cancer risk. British journal of cancer, 104(1), 6–11. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6606032

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