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Eggs are a popular food item that can be eaten in various forms such as boiled, scrambled, poached, and fried. They are a rich source of high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals that can provide numerous health benefits to our body. However, there has been a long-standing debate over the effects of egg consumption on heart health. This article will explore the relationship between eating eggs and heart health.

 

The Nutritional Powerhouse: Exploring the Benefits of Eggs

Firstly, let’s talk about the nutritional benefits of eggs. Eggs are a rich source of high-quality protein, containing all the essential amino acids our body needs. They are also a good source of vitamin D, which helps absorb calcium and vitamin B12, necessary for nerve and red blood cell health. Also, eggs are a rich source of choline, an essential nutrient for brain health and development.

 

Cracking the Egg Cholesterol Myth

Now, coming to the relationship between egg consumption and heart health, several studies have been conducted over the years to understand the link between the two. One of the significant concerns regarding egg consumption is their cholesterol content. Eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, which is thought to increase the risk of heart disease. However, recent research has shown that the cholesterol in eggs has minimal effect on blood cholesterol levels and does not increase the risk of heart disease in healthy individuals.

 

Energizing Pick-Me-Up Snack:  This wholesome snack consists of a perfectly boiled egg placed on a slice of hearty sourdough bread, generously topped with smashed avocado. A pinch of flaky sea salt and a sprinkle of red chili flakes add flavor and a zest to this satisfying and nutritious snack.

 

Scientific Insights: What Studies Say About Eggs and Heart Health

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1) found that eating up to one egg daily didn’t raise the risk of heart disease or stroke in healthy individuals. Also, recent research in BMJ (2) reviewing three large US studies suggests that moderate egg consumption (up to one egg daily) isn’t linked to higher cardiovascular disease risk and may even lower it in Asian populations.

 

Eggs and Heart Health: A Balanced Perspective

However, it is important to note that individuals with existing heart conditions or high cholesterol levels should consult their healthcare provider before consuming eggs regularly. Additionally, how eggs are cooked can impact their effect on heart health. For example, frying eggs in butter or oil can add extra calories and unhealthy fats, harming heart health. Therefore, it is recommended to opt for boiled or poached eggs, healthier options.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, consuming eggs in moderation can provide several nutritional benefits and does not increase the risk of heart disease in healthy individuals. However, individuals with pre-existing heart conditions or high cholesterol levels should consult their healthcare provider before incorporating large volumes of eggs into their diet. Choosing healthy cooking methods while preparing eggs to optimize their health benefits is also important.

 

 

 

Relevant Links

Rong, Y., Chen, L., Zhu, T., Song, Y., Yu, M., Shan, Z., … & Hu, F. B. (2013). Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98(1), 146-159. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.051318

Drouin-Chartier J, Chen S, Li Y, Schwab A L, Stampfer M J, Sacks F M et al. Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: three large prospective US cohort studies, systematic review, and updated meta-analysis BMJ 2020; 368 :m513 doi:10.1136/bmj.m513

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    Prof. Peter Barlis - Editor

    Prof. Peter Barlis - Editor

    Thank you for visiting heartmatters.com! We aim to empower you with valuable, easy-to-understand heart health insights, cutting through jargon. Whether you aim to control your heart health, manage an existing condition, or enhance your knowledge of heart wellness, Heart Matters is your go-to guide to help you achieve your goals.

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    other anti-anginals

    When first-line therapies for angina, such as beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and nitrates, prove inadequate or are not well-tolerated, second-line therapies may be considered.
    Perhexiline is a unique medication that enhances the heart's ability to utilize fatty acids for energy, reducing its reliance on oxygen and lowering oxygen demand. This action helps improve blood flow and alleviates chest pain in some patients with refractory angina.
    Nicorandil is another second-line option with a dual mechanism of action. It opens potassium channels in smooth muscle cells, causing vasodilation and enhancing coronary blood flow. Additionally, nicorandil also stimulates nitric oxide release, further dilating blood vessels and reducing heart workload.
    Trimetazidine is an anti-ischemic agent that improves cardiac efficiency by enhancing glucose metabolism and shifting the heart's energy production to a more oxygen-efficient process. As second-line therapies, these medications offer alternative approaches for managing angina in individuals who do not respond adequately to first-line treatments or those experiencing side effects from other medications.

    lipid lowering therapies

    Lipid-lowering therapies play a critical role in managing coronary artery disease (CAD), a condition characterized by the narrowing of blood vessels that supply the heart. Among the most commonly discussed and debated classes of medications are statins, which effectively reduce cholesterol levels and are widely prescribed to lower the risk of cardiovascular events. Alongside statins, other medications like ezetimibe, fibrates, and niacin are also utilized to target specific aspects of lipid metabolism, such as cholesterol absorption, triglyceride levels, and raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Additionally, the introduction of medications that inhibit PCSK9, an enzyme involved in cholesterol metabolism, has provided a promising new approach to further lower LDL cholesterol levels. These PCSK9 inhibitors, such as Repatha (evolocumab), have shown significant efficacy in reducing LDL cholesterol levels in patients with CAD, especially for those who may not respond well to traditional therapies.

    Nitrates

    Nitrates are widely used to treat angina and provide quick relief for chest pain. Commonly available in the form of sublingual sprays or tablets, patches, and long-acting tablets, nitrates work by dilating blood vessels, allowing for increased blood flow and reduced resistance. This dilation eases the heart's workload, leading to a decreased demand for oxygen and prompt alleviation of angina symptoms. Sublingual nitrates act rapidly and are often used to provide immediate relief during angina attacks, while patches and long-acting tablets are employed for preventive purposes. However, nitrates may cause side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and flushing, which usually subside over time.

    calcium channel blockers

    Calcium channel blockers, including amlodipine, felodipine, cardizem (diltiazem), and verapamil, are commonly prescribed for the treatment of angina. These medications work by inhibiting the influx of calcium into the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels, leading to their relaxation. As a result, blood vessels widen, promoting improved blood flow and reduced blood pressure. In the context of angina, this relaxation decreases the heart's workload, lowering the demand for oxygen and alleviating chest pain. Calcium channel blockers offer a valuable treatment option for individuals with angina, but it is essential to be aware of potential side effects, which may include headaches, dizziness, flushing, and ankle swelling.

    Beta blockers

    Beta blockers, such as metoprolol, propranolol, atenolol, carvedilol, and bisoprolol, play a crucial role in treating angina. By blocking certain receptors in the heart, they effectively reduce heart rate and the force of contraction, thereby easing the heart's workload. This mechanism of action leads to a decreased demand for oxygen, making beta blockers highly effective in relieving chest pain associated with angina. As with any medication, it's important to consider potential side effects, including tiredness, worsened asthma, erectile dysfunction in some males, and more vivid dreams during sleep. Consult your healthcare provider to determine the suitability of beta blockers for managing your angina and overall heart health.

    Anti-platelet Medications

    Anti-platelet medications play a crucial role in preventing blood clot formation, reducing the risk of serious cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. Among the widely used anti-platelet drugs are aspirin, clopidogrel, and ticagrelor.

    Aspirin: This well-known medication inhibits platelet activation, making it less likely for platelets to stick together and form clots. Aspirin is commonly used for primary and secondary prevention of heart attacks and strokes.

    Clopidogrel: As a potent anti-platelet agent, clopidogrel works by blocking specific receptors on platelets, preventing them from aggregating. It is often prescribed to patients with acute coronary syndrome, those undergoing stent procedures, and for some cases of peripheral arterial disease.

    Ticagrelor: Ticagrelor is another effective anti-platelet drug that works by inhibiting platelet activation. It is used in acute coronary syndrome, often given alongside aspirin to reduce the risk of heart-related events.