Eating high-cholesterol food does not increase the risk for heart disease, according to a new study.
The Finnish study, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed 1,032 initially healthy men ages 42 to 60. About a third were carriers of ApoE4, a gene variant known to increase the risk for heart disease (and Alzheimer’s). The researchers assessed their diets with questionnaires and followed them for an average of 21 years, during which 230 men developed coronary artery disease.
The men consumed an average of about 2,800 milligrams of cholesterol a week, more than a quarter of it from eating an average of four eggs weekly. (An egg contains about 180 milligrams of cholesterol.)
After controlling for age, education, smoking, B.M.I., diabetes, hypertension and other characteristics, the researchers found no association between cardiovascular disease and total cholesterol or egg consumption in either carriers or noncarriers of ApoE4.
The researchers also examined carotid artery thickness, a measure of atherosclerosis. They found no association between cholesterol consumption and artery thickness, either.
The lead author, Jyrki K. Virtanen, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Eastern Finland, said that for healthy people, “Moderate intake of cholesterol,” including up to one egg a day, “doesn’t seem to increase the risk of heart disease, even among those people at higher risk.”
So the question is what causes or contributes to increase in heart disease?
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