“Eggzactly”! by Dr.Iain Corness

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Eggzactly 

Talk about medical check-ups and the “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol” debate begins.  That in turn brings up the questions on the breakfast egg, and every breakfast seems to feature one, two or even three eggs sunny side up or otherwise.

I was even advised that in Australia, one body builder consumed 12 eggs per day, blended and drank, a total of 84 eggs a week, and when his cholesterol was checked it hardly registered.  So I don’t blame you if you are getting confused, with all the conflicting information.

What is not universally understood is that your serum cholesterol comes not just from your diet, but you also make cholesterol all by yourself!

Confused?  Mayo Clinic cardiologist Gerald Gau, M.D., said, “It’s understandable that you're confused.  Eggs are high in cholesterol, and a diet high in cholesterol can contribute to elevated blood cholesterol levels.  However, the extent to which dietary cholesterol raises blood cholesterol levels isn’t clear.  Many scientists believe that saturated fats and trans fats have a greater impact than does dietary cholesterol in raising blood cholesterol.” 

Now, getting back to the 84 eggs a week body builder with cholesterol levels that hardly registered, that information is as significant as Uncle Ernie who smoked three packs of cigarettes a day, drank one bottle of bourbon and ate a crate of eggs and lived to be 103.  One instance is not enough.  You have to look at large numbers.

To that concept, it was in 1994 that the Scandinavian 4S study proved the concept and the need to lower cholesterol, to in turn reduce heart disease, and became universally accepted.  This was done with 4,444 patients (and not one 84 egg body builder, or Uncle Ernie), and these results have been verified many times with huge numbers of patients since then.

It is also true that we manufacture cholesterol.  Cholesterol is found in every cell in your body.  This fat-like substance is an important component of cell membranes and a building block in the formation of some hormones, but your body makes all the cholesterol it needs.  Any cholesterol in your diet is extra – and that includes the eggs.

And before you ask, I have 10 eggs per week and my cholesterol is well within the safety range.  But all this means is that I don’t manufacture much cholesterol myself. 

Finally, you should get your cholesterol level checked too!  Nothing to eat after midnight and then get the test done.  Simple.

 

 

 

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