Egg consumption linked to diabetes

The health benefits of the humble egg might not be all they are cracked up to be.

mature woman considers whether or not to buy eggs

Is there a more controversial food than eggs?

Sure, there is plenty of debate over the merit of pineapple on pizza, or varying reactions over coriander or anchovies, but when it comes to health concerns the humble egg certainly punches above its weight when it comes to scientific opinion.

A new study from the University of South Australia is the latest to weigh in on the debate, and it is not good news for egg lovers.

According to the research, excess egg consumption can increase your risk of diabetes.

The research found that people who regularly consumed one or more eggs per day (equivalent to 50g) increased their risk of diabetes by 60 per cent.

The Heart Foundation guidelines do not set a limit to the number of eggs that you should eat in a week.

However, the Heart Foundation does suggest a maximum of seven eggs per week for those with high LDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes or existing heart disease.

The University of South Australia’s Dr Ming Li says the rise of diabetes was a growing concern and it was important to find dietary links to the problem.

“Diet is a known and modifiable factor that contributes to the onset type 2 diabetes, so understanding the range of dietary factors that might impact the growing prevalence of the disease is important,” Dr Li said.

The study, which was conducted in partnership with the China Medical University, studied 8545 Chinese adults with an average age of 50 years.

It found that that those with higher long-term egg consumption (greater than 38g per day) had a 25 per cent greater chance of developing diabetes.

“Furthermore, adults who regularly ate a lot of eggs (over 50g, or equivalent to one egg, per day) had an increased risk of diabetes by 60 per cent,” Dr Li explained.

The effect was also more pronounced in women than in men.

Dr Li added that more research was needed to explore causal relationships between eggs and diabetes.

The science, though, does seem to favour moderation when it comes to eating eggs.

Last year, YourLifeChoices reported on a study that showed eating too many eggs was linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

That study suggested eating just 300mg of dietary cholesterol was associated with a 17 per cent higher risk of heart disease and that eating three to four eggs per week came with a 6 per cent higher risk.

How many eggs do you eat per week? Do you think that eating eggs is good or bad for your health? Do you think moderation is the key when it comes to eggs?

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    18th Nov 2020
    Well, I have had Diabetes for over 20 years, and I certainly ate a lot less eggs back then than I do now......
    22nd Nov 2020
    I've eaten eggs sparingly all my life. I was confirmed a diabetic type 2 at age of 52, not because from eating eggs but because of a hereditary diabetes from one of my parent's side.

    It wasn't until about 3 years ago that a good Nephrology Specialist prescribed different medication for diabetes which has helped to keep the diabetes under control between 4.6 to 6.7 At that level this is referred to as Pre-Diabetic condition. I'm 73 years old now.
    18th Nov 2020
    Oh, dear. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I possibly keep under the limit mentioned but haven’t been counting. At the moment, I don’t have any of the medical conditions named.
    18th Nov 2020
    "The study, which was conducted in partnership with the China Medical University, studied 8545 Chinese adults with an average age of 50 years."
    Notice the word "CHINA"
    Do not believe anything that has the word CHINA in the description.
    Its just a distraction from COVID.
    They are probably looking at stopping any imports from Australia to do with chooks next.
    19th Nov 2020
    A bit cynical your views! But to the point, Chinese people's response to eggs may be quite different to Westerners. Same as we have evolved to tolerate dairy products which causes most Asians problems they may have a different response to egg consumption. Aboriginals and sugar is another point, our Western diet has caused a lot of problems to indigenous people. So I wouldn't take this study seriously. I love my eggs and have no signs of diabetes, and no intention to cut back on egg consumption
    19th Nov 2020
    With the world's highest population, I find it difficult to believe that China is currently ranked 65th with only 8 new cases overnight when looking at incidence of covid. These people live shoulder to shoulder in Beijing yet we are to believe that there are only 86369 cases in total. (Source: worldometer 19/11/20).

    Like you implied, Oxleigh, be sceptical.
    18th Nov 2020
    There's statistics and there's damn lies someone once said. I eat about two eggs a week but I am a scientist and I take exception to how people treat statistics. They ignore the principle that 'simultaneity does not prove causality'. That is, just because a troll of a data base has two indicators tracking it parallel, it DOES NOT prove that one causes the other. In this case it is at least equally likely that people who eat a lot of eggs have another risk factor, such as being overweight!
    19th Nov 2020
    Yep. - good old shock media commentary.
    18th Nov 2020
    It's not eggs than lead to diabetes, it's SUGAR, sucrose consumption!
    18th Nov 2020
    I should have added that statin drugs also have an adverse effect of causing diabetes (among many other serious problems).
    19th Nov 2020
    Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. Exactly why this happens is unknown, although genetics and environmental factors, such as being overweight and inactive, seem to be contributing factors.
    Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that destroys the cells in the pancreas which make insulin. They are called beta cells. This process can go on for months or years before any symptoms appear.
    Not caused by sugar consumption...once diabetes develops/is diagnosed then dietary rules come into play.
    18th Nov 2020
    i think one of the biggest problems when it comes to diabetes is sugar in foods that shouldnt be there , same with salt and high blood pressure , food manufacturers are poisoning people and are allowed to get away with it
    18th Nov 2020
    tisme, you needn't worry about the salt. It doesn't cause high blood pressure, that it does has been a furfy for years. You are of course correct about sugar.
    18th Nov 2020
    I have been eating at least 5 to 12 eggs a week since I was able to boil then- like around 6yo. No sign of diabtese yet and it has been 56 years now. I know I almost failed a diabete's test some years ago. I cut out the ice creams I was having for desserts for a few weeks, went back and passed. I think it is about the sugar, not the eggs.
    18th Nov 2020
    I have had type 2 diabetes since 1993 and have never consumed 7 eggs a week. Occasionally I may have the equivalent of 4 eggs but only when I make a pie requiring 3 eggs or a cake. I enjoy an occasional egg sandwich but only use one egg. It is an overabundance of sugar which causes diabetes and not enough insulin.
    18th Nov 2020
    Respectfully, this is really bad reporting.

    Where is the data on what else these egg-eaters ate? Was a Western diet or elements of it more common in the group? Any signs of increasing affluence and more meats, more processed carbs, more high glycaemic foods etc? And most importantly, what were they also eating for breakfast, for example? Years ago, I was at a food industry meeting and the Kellogg representative was presenting their 'success' in China. Kellogg was proud of their achievement in converting the traditional Chinese breakfast from warm, soft and savoury to cold, crunchy and sweet. He was puzzled when I asked him if the company was taking responsibility for the (then) 400,000 new Type 2 diabetics in China back then. Current figures are 1m annually because of the Westernization of the Chinese diet.

    Let's refer back to the diet of the World's longest living culture and note that is was seasonally routine to dig a turtle nest on the beach and with 3 or 4 co-foragers, then cook and eat the 200 or more eggs dug from the sand. A small fire was prepared and the eggs cooked in the hot ash and sand at the edge of the fire with a small hole torn in the leathery shells. Incidentally, the nutritional value of turtle eggs is almost identical to that of eggs of chickens, ducks, emu and crocodiles.

    OK. When they shared this traditional meal with me, we ate some soft-cooked eggs, some done to hard-boiled and some had the baby turtles formed enough that you first ate the cooked flesh and remains of the egg white and then ran the shell over your lower front teeth to scrape off the meat and fat from the inner side of the shell. It was delicious but then my Chinese-born mother and aunt had taught me about '100 year' duck eggs amongst many other possibly challenging Asian foods.

    Anyway. If the researchers looked more closely at our Indigenous Australians they might learn that they traditionally never suffered from the diseases of nutrition (including diabetes, obesity, CVD, hypertension, gout and many others). Cancers were very rare if at all. Ischemic heart disease equally rare to non-existent. And they retained encyclopedic memories of 3 and 4 generations on the survival knowledge that earned them the World Title for continuous occupation on this planet.

    If the truth is of interest, eggs are not the threat. It is the falling nutritional value of modern produce which is set to get worse as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise.

    What are missing from Chinese, Australian, Indian, African, European, American and people from all nations are phytonutrients. The evidence is that reintroducing wild foods to the diets of Indigenous Australians results in blood pressure normalizing in around 2 weeks and Type 2 diabetes symptoms disappear in 4 to 8 weeks.

    So. Crocodile eggs anyone? I'll keep watch while researchers from Adelaide Uni can go raid the croc nests.
    18th Nov 2020
    Oxleigh, pull your head in. This is no place to showcase your racial intolerance. Here’s a suggestion, go and join your xenophobic pals in either Canberra or the US.
    18th Nov 2020
    Grammy, open your eyes and read the news and you will see what I mean, nothing to do with racial intolerance, I live in a multicultural home, I don't think you know what xenophobic means either.
    If you can read properly, read the message again.
    Jumping to conclusions after one word jumps out at you is a bit petty.
    18th Nov 2020
    Sounds like BS to me .....
    18th Nov 2020
    My diabetes was once out of control and I was on insulin then I changed my diet about 5 years ago to one that includes 2 eggs for breakfast every other day - much more than previously. My diabetes is now well controlled, I no longer take insulin and I have lost weight.
    18th Nov 2020
    As the other comments show, there are grounds for cynicism here.
    Note the aspects of "excessive" egg consumption. This will be a very arbitrary estimation with little if any science to back it up.
    The next aspect is it appears to only be of concern to those who already have diabetes or heart "disease". Not exactly of concern to the greater majority of the population.
    Varying factors also include how the eggs have been prepared and what they are eaten in conjunction with. Think not just fried, poached, boiled but also included in short and long soups, even cakes and sweets.
    Another aspect is "Chinese study". For a multitude of reasons, the gut biome of the majority of Chinese is significantly different to that of the average Caucasian living in Australia. (For those who've missed it, we get our original biome during the natural birth process from our mothers anal excretions (impossible to avoid unless Cesarean) and it is nurtured from then on by our regular diet. The traditional respective diets of Chinese living in China and Australians living in Australia are quite different and evolve during our years.
    Probably just another study done by students working on their Phd to pad out their Resume.
    The greatest danger from egg consumption would probably be from choking on a hard boiled one that a person tried to swallow whole.
    18th Nov 2020
    Havent these Idiots got anything better to research
    18th Nov 2020
    "The research found that people who regularly consumed one or more eggs per day (equivalent to 50g) increased their risk of diabetes by 60 per cent.....Dr Li added that more research was needed to explore causal relationships between eggs and diabetes".....

    So if more research is required to explore the link, the research is not conclusive then, so why publish inconclusive findings of fearmongering?
    18th Nov 2020
    Funny, just about all the time I lived with my father, ie from birth to nearly 18, I recall he had two fried eggs and fried bread for breakfast, 7 days a week. None of this cereal stuff or toast for him, a working man needed a proper breakfast. It was all fried in dripping not vegetable oil. He didn't quite make his 100th birthday. Apart from some frailty due to age, he was fairly healthy until he failed to wake up one morning. He was a good example of the health benefits of eggs.
    19th Nov 2020
    Clucking idiots.
    19th Nov 2020
    High Cholesterol and diabetes type 2 seem to go hand in hand. So it stands to reason that it is better to limit the numbers of eggs one has each day.
    I would be far more likely to be targeting all the processed and restaurant foods as the first port of call. However since this is a Chinese study and their life style and diet is so completely different to ours is probably not that relevant.
    19th Nov 2020
    B.S. Absolutely. A Dr. on TV did a test 4 or 5 years ago He ate. 4 eggs a morning for 2 weeks. His cholesterol dropped a small amount.
    19th Nov 2020
    Does this research identify whether it's raw eggs, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, fried eggs sunny side up or scrambled eggs that have a link to diabetes? ...Was there research done on the impact of the link where fragment ingredients of egg is mixed with other food stuff one buys in the supermarket?...or is this another Chinese infliction to destroy our economy?
    19th Nov 2020
    I wouldn't be surprised if its more to do with amount of toast and butter that people eat with their eggs that's causing an increased risk in diabetes .
    21st Nov 2020
    In the 1970s they used to tell us that Butter was bad for you, so eat Margarine( Haha!! how dumb) Eggs, Avocado and burnt toast or meat was bad for you too. Maybe so, but now it is sugar or salt that is going to kill me. What next??? I have grown organic vegetables for 50 years. I eat other "Junk" too. But I am 76 and still fit. (So my Dr. says) I eat eggs, salt, butter and shock horror Sugar.

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