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You've likely heard the age-old saying, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day," but it turns out that what you eat in the morning is just as important. According to new research, eating up to one egg daily can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. "Few studies have looked at the role that plasma cholesterol metabolism plays in the association between egg consumption and the risk of cardiovascular diseases, so we wanted to help address this gap," says lead author Lang Pan, MSc, from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Peking University in Beijing, China in a press release.
To obtain their findings, the team selected 4,779 participants from the China Kadoorie Biobank. Of the participants, 3,401 had cardiovascular disease and the other 1,377 did not. The researchers used a technique called targeted nuclear magnetic resonance to measure 225 metabolites in plasma samples extracted from the participants' blood. Of the metabolites, they found 24 that were linked with self-reported levels of egg consumption.
The researchers found that individuals who consistently ate a moderate amount of eggs had higher levels of a protein called apolipoprotein A1—a building block of high-density lipoprotein (HDL)—in their blood. These participants also had more large HDL molecules in their blood, which the researchers say helps to clear cholesterol from the blood vessels and can prevent blockages that may cause heart attacks and stroke. What's more, the researchers also identified 14 metabolites that are linked to heart disease and found that individuals who ate fewer eggs had higher levels are bad metabolites in their blood compared to people who are eggs regularly.
While more research is needed to verify the roles that metabolites play in the connection between egg consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease, this study furthers existing knowledge scientists have on the association between the two. "Together, our results provide a potential explanation for how eating a moderate amount of eggs can help protect against heart disease," study author Canqing Yu, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Peking University noted in the press release.