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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Dale O.
DaleLovesOttawa O.about a year ago

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.

Terry V.
Terry V.2 years ago


Val M.
Val M.2 years ago


Kate S.
Kate S.2 years ago

thanks for posting

Vicky P.
Vicky P.2 years ago

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.

Kelly Colwell
Kelly Colwell2 years ago

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.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

Liliana Garcia
Liliana Garcia2 years ago

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.

Michael H.
Mike H.2 years ago


Ron B.
Ron B.2 years ago

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