eggs don't constrict arteries
Eggs Don't Constrict Arteries
Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

Eating three eggs at one time or taking two eggs per day 
for six weeks does not constrict arteries in people with 
high cholesterol, while eating a single sausage/cheese 
breakfast sandwich does (). Constricted arteries, called 
endothelial dysfunction, cause arteriosclerosis, high blood 
pressure, heart attacks and diabetes (2); while opening 
arteries is associated with reversal of arteriosclerosis (3).

In the same study, people who ate egg whites (but not the 
yolks) daily for six weeks had less artery constriction than 
those who ate the whole eggs. The authors do not explain 
this finding. Multiple studies show little, if any, evidence 
that eating eggs is associated with increased risk for heart 
attacks or death (4). The main concern about eggs is their 
extremely high concentration of cholesterol. However, 
research has failed to show that dietary cholesterol, itself, 
increases heart attack risk because the relationship of egg 
consumption to heart attacks depends not just on eggs, but 
on the total diet (5). Large population studies do show 
increased risk for heart attacks in people who eat mammal 
meat (6), but not those who eat poultry. Those who eat fish 
and plants have reduced heart attack risk. 

1. Nutrition Journal, July 2010
2. Atherosclerosis 1997, 129:111-118
3. Am J Cardiol 1995, 75:71B-74B24
4. JAMA 1999;281:1387-1394.48; British Medical Journal 1990;
5. Am J Clin Nutr 2002, 75(2):333-335
6. Archives of Internal Medicine, March 2009



Eggs Do Not Cause Heart Attacks

Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

Eggs have not been shown to increase risk for heart attacks, 
according to an an extensive review of the world's scientific 
literature in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (1). 
For example, the Physician's Health Study followed doctors for 
20 years and showed no association between eating eggs and 
heart attacks or strokes. However, the doctors who ate lots of 
eggs did die earlier than those who avoided eggs, possibly 
because they also ate more bacon, sausage and butter (2). 

The concern that eating eggs can cause heart attacks comes from 
the fact that eggs are one of the most concentrated sources of 
dietary cholesterol. Indeed, adding one egg per day can raise 
blood cholesterol levels by one to three percent (3). However, 
virtually all large population studies show no association 
between eating eggs and blood cholesterol levels (4). In fact, 
the Framingham Heart Study (5) and NHANES study (6) found that 
high-egg eaters had lower cholesterol levels than very-low eggs 

Current opinion is that some people have their blood cholesterol 
levels raised by eating eggs, while others do not (7). Indeed, 
70 percent of Americans will not have their cholesterol levels 
affected by eating eggs (8). Furthermore, those who did have 
their cholesterol levels raised by eating eggs, had rises in 
both their good HDL and bad LDL cholesterol levels and also had 
higher large particle cholesterol that prevents heart attacks. 
Both rises in the good HDL cholesterol and cholesterol particle 
size help to prevent heart attacks.

I have started to eat eggs again after avoiding them for more 
than forty years. I continue to load my plate with lots of 
vegetables and fruits, and eat reasonable amounts of fish. I 
avoid all meat from mammals. I avoid all refined carbohydrates 
except during and immediately after exercise.