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Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis

study in the journal Atherosclerosis found that eating just 3 eggs or more a week was associated with a significant increase in artery-clogging plaque buildup in people’s carotid arteries going to their brain, a strong predictor of stroke, heart attack, and death.  If you click on the above video you’ll see they found an exponential increase in arterial plaque buildup for smokers and egg-eaters. Those that ate the most eggs had as much as two-thirds the risk of those that smoked the most, the equivalent of a pack-a-day habit for 40 years or more.

This did not go over easy with the egg industry.

As revealed in a series of internal memos about this group of researchers retrieved through the Freedom of Information Act, the American Egg Board discussed the “wisdom of making industry responses when the public knows there is a vested interest…” So the Executive Director of the Egg Board’s “Egg Nutrition Center” proposed they contact “some of our ‘friends’ in the science community” to have an “objective, external source author the response.”

“If you do so,” the Egg Board wrote to one of their “friends” at Yale, “we’ll certainly compensate you…” But the prominent Yale physician refused to “participate in an overtly antagonistic letter” given his friendship with one of the co-authors of the eggs and atherosclerosis review.

If you can’t find someone with credentials to counter the science, why not just make one up? Check out the above video to see this story’s bizarre twist involving an attempt to discredit the egg & smoking study with a hacked email account.

This is the same prestigious research team that wrote the landmark review upon which I based my videos Egg Cholesterol in the Diet and Avoiding Cholesterol Is a No Brainer.

More on eggs in:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos here and watch my full 2012 year-in-review presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: malias, Samuel M. Livingston, and Vectorportal via Flickr

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at


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8:56PM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

Ron B had said a while back:

"Worst of all would be eating eggs coming from any hen that smoked cigarettes."

Everything in moderation is fine. Avoiding factory farmed eggs and obtaining eggs from hens raised on a small farm where they are outside and healthy is preferable.

No one sees hens chain smoking in the barnyard or anywhere else. More scare stories to try and get one to avoid eating eggs.

4:16PM PDT on Apr 26, 2013


3:43AM PDT on Apr 23, 2013


7:11PM PDT on Apr 22, 2013

thanks for posting

1:12PM PDT on Apr 19, 2013

Isn't there always a debate about this? and as far as I know, the cholesterol in eggs is good for you, and there are many nutrients you get from them.

11:54AM PDT on Apr 19, 2013

Anyone know what kind of eggs they used for this study? I wouldn't doubt that organic, free-range eggs are better for you than regular battery-cage eggs, and this should be reflected in this study.

2:52AM PDT on Apr 19, 2013

Thank you :)

12:46AM PDT on Apr 19, 2013

Hmmm. Well, at least you can't set the house on fire if you forget your eggs on the table. Bad joke. Thanks for the info.

11:49PM PDT on Apr 18, 2013


11:24PM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

Worst of all would be eating eggs coming from any hen that smoked cigarettes.

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people are talking

Very good info.

Since I am allergic this is very important for me since I work out side. Thank you for the great rem…

Only in America. The mind boggles....

Interesting article. Thank you for caring and sharing.


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