Dietary Cholesterol Affects Blood Cholesterol Levels

Debunking Egg Industry Myths
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In my video, Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis, I profiled a study showing that both smoking and eating eggs can harm our arteries. But even egg yolks alone were associated with artery-clogging plaque buildup nearly two thirds as bad as smoking.

This certainly ruffled some feathers.

Yes, eggs are by far the number one source of cholesterol in the American diet, but some letters to the editor protested that dietary cholesterol may have very little impact on blood cholesterol levels, citing a study published in 1971 performed on eight people. But if one looks at dozens of studies together, covering hundreds of study subjects, we find that blood cholesterol concentration is “clearly increased by added dietary cholesterol.” In my video, Debunking Egg Industry Myths, there is an extreme example just to illustrate: a year in the life of a study subject taken on and off eggs. First, the researchers take him off eggs, putting him on a cholesterol-free diet, and his blood cholesterol plummets within just three weeks. Then they give him lots of eggs, and his cholesterol shoots back up, stays high until they take the eggs away and put him back on the cholesterol free diet, and so on and so forth. The researchers were essentially turning his high blood cholesterol on and off like a light switch (made out of eggs).

Of course the only reason we care about our cholesterol levels or how much plaque is building up inside our arteries is because we want to avoid the consequences, like a heart attack. So do eggs increase our risk of cardiovascular disease? The latest meta-analysis, the latest compilation of all the best studies on egg consumption and risk of heart disease going back to 1930, found that, overall, those who ate the most eggs had a 19% increased risk of cardiovascular disease, a 68% increased risk of diabetes, and, once you have diabetes, an even greater 85% increased risk of heart disease. It didn’t take much; less than a single egg a day was associated with a significantly increased risk of heart disease. Just over half an egg a day may increase heart disease risk 6% (40% in separated diabetes patients), and the risk of diabetes by 29%. The researchers conclude that their findings support the American Heart Association dietary guidelines, which advise restricted egg consumption in adults for preventing cardiometabolic disease, like diabetes, our seventh leading cause of death, and heart disease, our number one killer.

More on the diabetes connection in Eggs and Diabetes and Bacon, Eggs, and Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy.

More on eggs and the egg industry in general:

There’s more to heart disease than just cholesterol buildup. In my video, Eggs and Arterial Function, I explore what effect egg consumption has on endothelial function, the ability of our arteries to relax normally.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 – 2015 presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.

Image Credit: Rebecca Siegel / Flickr

  • sco2095

    I have been plant based in my diet now for 18 months and although I didn’t have a baseline cholesterol blood test done prior, I had one done (among others) in June 2014 and again in July 2015. I was thoroughly disappointed to find that my cholesterol (total) was 171 the first time and then 170 a year later. I have not had any food item that would contain cholesterol and I’m wondering if that is just my physiology?? Any ideas??

    • Leonid Kalichkin

      It is LDL level that matters. Go 100% whole food, if you aren’t already, eat nuts and seeds every day, especially ground flaxseeds, decrease body fat percentage as possible, and see if anything changes.

    • Andrea Reiman

      Are you still using oils (olive oil, any type of oil to cook)? If so, eliminate them. See Caldwell Esselstyn’s research. Google “Caldwell Esselstyn and no oil”

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I like the other suggestions here. I tackle this question in this comment. Let me know if that is useful?

      Best in Health,

      Joseph

    • Matthew Smith

      For high Cholesterol, this site recommends:

      nuts (particularly almonds),
      whole grains (like oatmeal),
      flax seed meal,
      kiwi,
      grapefruit,
      red yeast rice (not recommended now, the source of medicine),
      dried apples,
      amla, and
      beans like chickpeas.
      the vegan diet

      Niacin, in doses of 2 grams a day, can lower LDL by 25 percent. My improvement was more substantial. This is the exact same benefit of “One gooseberry a day” (amla,), which “cut their bad cholesterol in half in three weeks. Boosted their good cholesterol, and cut their triglycerides in half!” This makes Niacin one of two substances that can have this effect.

    • EmpoweredMind.com

      It appears, that your liver is actively producing cholesterol to supply the cells in your body the needed cholesterol. Cholesterol is an essential nutrient necessary for many functions, including:
      Repairing cell membranes
      Manufacturing vitamin D on the skin’s surface
      Producing hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone
      Possibly helping cell connections in the brain that are important for learning and memory

      Some studies show that plaque buildup is due to “repair work” done on the arterial wall. Atrial scarring and inflammation contribute to the plaque buildup. Avoiding foods that can contribute to inflammation and managing stress levels will greatly help lower your risk for heart disease. http://www.empoweredmind.com/proof-stress-really-cause-heart-attacks/. Other factors that contribute to arterial scarring are high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking etc. These again have a close connection to psychosocial factors.

    • Jim Felder

      Actually blood cholesterol responds more strongly to the amount of saturated fat in the diet than to the amount of cholesterol. So you could be eating zero dietary cholesterol and still have higher blood cholesterol if you are eating significant amounts of saturated fat. And note that even plant oils contain saturated fat to varying degrees, so it isn’t just in animal fat. “heart-healthy” olive oil is 14% saturated fat. In fact the highest percentages of saturated fat are actually in things like coconut oil (86%) and palm kernel oil (81%) rather than beef (50%) or chicken (30%).

      So if you want to get your cholesterol below 150 then you have to pay attention to how much saturated fat is in your diet. The easiest way to do that is just eat whole plant foods without adding refined oil and be somewhat mindful of the amount of nuts and oily seeds you eat.

    • Wegan

      If the thyroid is not working properly it could lead to high cholesterol levels. Many, if not most, are deficient in iodine because of the industrial halogens in the environment. There is some information at iodineresearch.com

    • MadScientist

      Possibly familial hypercholesterolemia? Does Greger state whether there is any research that supports that a plant-based diet reverses familial hypercholesterolemia? Lol

    • David Sprouse MS PA-C

      What about your specific cholesterol breakdown? It’s possible your LDL went down significantly on a plant-based diet but your HDL went up, which would result in minimal change to your total cholesterol but is actually a highly beneficial change for cardiovascular health. Also, you might want to request from your medical provider an “NMR Lipoprofile”, which measures not only LDL/HDL but also particle number, particle density and also (indirectly) insulin resistance. In short, total cholesterol is not nearly specific enough, in my opinion. Hope that’s helpful!

  • vjimener

    In these studies… how were the eggs eaten? Is it the same to eat them raw, fried or poached?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      You’d have to click on the hyperlinks, or go the videos and find the “sources cited” section to see exactly how the eggs were prepared. I can tell you cooking style may not matter, as cholesterol is stuck in the egg. Hard-boiling may be the safest method because that type of cooking can kill bacteria, as leaving the eggs runny or raw presents risk of food borne illness.

      • vjimener

        As far as I know, LDL cholesterol is not a problem for our health. The problem is oxidized LDL cholesterol. So the cooking method should impact. Fried eggs must have a lot of oxidized cholesterol. In raw eggs I would not expect to find oxidized cholesterol. Of course, I would be taking the risk of the food borne illness.

        • Richard Janics

          I agree. Diet does have an impact on cholesterol but it’s very small, less than 4% on total cholesterol serum levels. Furthermore, with low levels of oxidized LDL and small particle LDL, your levels of total cholesterol should be ABOVE 200 for a healthier life and brain. Inflammatory causing foods are what we should be avoiding to reduce artery lesions that require cholesterol build up repairs.

          • David Sprouse MS PA-C

            Hi Richard,
            I respectfully disagree with some of what you are saying about cholesterol levels, specifically keeping total cholesterol above 200. Decades of research (review here) show overwhelmingly that for prevention of heart disease and stroke, the *lower* the LDL the better and more generally, the lower the total cholesterol the better. I would challenge you to find research stating that total cholesterol *above* 200 is healthier, except perhaps for studies in very elderly/frail/sick individuals who have low cholesterol as a *result* of their medical conditions (in which case it isn’t low cholesterol causing their illness, it’s the other way around). Also, I’m assuming you meant to say “dietary cholesterol intake” instead of “diet” has a less than 4% effect on total cholesterol (?) All of that being said, I totally agree with your statements on the critical importance of decreasing oxidized LDL, small particle LDL and inflammation. With a healthy diet (whole foods plant-based, for instance), studies show that one gets the advantage of reducing *all* of these risk factors!

          • Richard Janics

            Hi David,

            I guess it just depends on what studies you trust, doesn’t it!?!? Our war on cholesterol is creating a nation of people with dementia and Parkinson disease as per this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15911792 and to answer your challenge, here is a study showing the higher your cholesterol the longer you lived: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(97)04430-9/abstract . Check our Dr. David Perlmutter who’s work is all science based and read Brain Maker and Grain Brain. Here’s some science saying eggs have no effect on Coronary Heart Disease: http://www.drperlmutter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Virtanen-et-al-Associations-of-egg-and-cholesterol-intakes-with-carotid-IMT-and-risk-of-incident-CHD-according-to-APOE-phenotype-in-men-AJCN-2016.pdf. I guess we should look at who is actually funding these studies we quote AND who was able to duplicate said studies don’ t you think?!?!. Cholesterol is our friend and helps us more than it hurts as long as you control your oxidated and small particle LDL levels. I wish I knew how to make my links smaller and I hope you are able to see the research I copied here.

          • David Sprouse MS PA-C

            Both studies you mentioned were done in elderly individuals (one even in the “oldest old” over 85!). These are the kind of studies I mentioned in my previous post, where older/sicker individuals tend to have lower cholesterol as a *result* of their medical status, which skews the results.

          • Richard Janics

            If you read the study you will see that none of the over 700 participants were medicated for cholesterol.

          • Thea

            Richard Janics: To reinforce what David Sprouse is explaining to you: He is talking about reverse causation, where disease causes low cholesterol levels, not the other way around. It is a well known phenomenon, one that cholesterol deniers like Perlmutter take advantage of. However, when we study people who consistently maintain low cholesterol levels throughout their lives, those people are consistently healthier and live longer.

            Tom Goff links to a page in the following post that you would do well to understand: http://nutritionfacts.org/2016/04/28/egg-consumption-and-ldl-cholesterol-size/#comment-2648441956 Here is a quote that is worth spending some time studying:

            “Among nearly 6000 healthy Japanese-American men enrolled in the Honolulu Heart Study, they measured total serum cholesterol at two time points, with mortality follow-up extending for up to 16 years. Results showed the expected association of elevated cholesterol with coronary disease. In addition, falling levels of cholesterol were linked to an excess risk of hepatic disease and cancer in particular, whereas low (<4.7 mmol/L, <180 mg/dL) but stable levels over time were not associated with excess risk. Their findings provide evidence that the association previously reported between low cholesterol and noncoronary mortality probably reflected the cholesterol-lowering metabolic consequences of long-term subclinical disease rather than a hazard associated with low cholesterol per se."

            Perlmutter is not a source of credible information. Books like Wheat Belly and Grain Brain list plenty of research to back up their claims. However, the research they point to generally does not actually back up their claims. It is all a bunch of pseudo-science, which the authors know better. Here are some pages where you can learn about flaws in those books:
            http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/06/problem-with-the-grain-brain-doctor.html
            http://noglutennoproblem.blogspot.com/2012/03/wheat-belly-busted.html
            http://drmirkin.com/nutrition/forget-grain-brain-and-wheat-belly-eat-whole-grains.html
            https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2014nl/jan/smoke.htm

          • Richard Janics

            Very funny!!! Let’s just agree to have a difference in “religion” when it comes to cholesterol and heart disease.

          • Richard Janics

            Another study refuting the results of lower cholesterol as being healthy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17334091

          • Jesse Reinhardt

            Blasphemy! That would mean that treating people with statins is ineffective!

  • Robert Haile

    What about egg whites in chickens who truly range free and find their own food? Would the yolks be better also? In Costa Rica, my neighbours chickens wander all over, including my yard, and have remarkably reduced all ticks including those containing Ehrlichiosis which sickens and kills a many dogs.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Well, that sure sounds like more of a symbiotic relationship than what we do here in the U.S. So much better for the health of the animal to be out of a battery cage. However, it may be the cholesterol. Egg whites don’t have cholesterol. They still have protein, but lack fiber and antioxidants. Not sure exactly how their protein relates to increased risk of IGF-I, but animal protein may increase IGF-I production. There is lots of controversy about eggs. Look if you’re going to eat them I’d suggest minimizing their consumption and adding plenty of fiber-rich veggies to the high-fat meal, as we learned from yesterday’s video on high-fat meals leading to endothelial impairment. Don’t fall for any label that says “cage-fee” and consider finding egg alternatives (tofu, tempeh, black beans, pinto beans, faux meats that contain protein, avocado, lentils) For more on ways to substitute eggs in meals check out this substitution chart. Thanks for your questions!

      Best in Health,
      Joseph

    • laguna

      You would eat eggs from a chicken who roams around eating whatever it finds and eats ticks that carry some crazy disease? You must be joking…
      I will stick to plants…

      • Robert Haile

        How many people died of Listeria in the last two years or E. Coli from plants that grow in soil? Where does Tetanus come from? Soil. I do not eat eggs at all, but was just asking the question.

    • Leslie

      Do you eat any egg yolks or egg whites, or are you 100 percent vegan?

  • Cessna

    What about Free Range organic eggs? Does the body respond the same way?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      It may be the cholesterol itself, however, free range and organic eggs would be a much better choice than factory farmed caged hens in regards to animal welfare. It’s been my experience that these cage-free labels are often misleading consumers, as if I raised hens for eggs and wanted to call them “cage-free” all I have to do is give them access to a door and shove the birds in a open warehouse. The laws have no protection for assuring chickens have room to more around or realistic access to the outdoors (plus what chicken would go outside in Minnasota in the dead of winter?).

      Dr. Greger has an article on this, of course. See if it’s helpful?

      Thanks, Cessna.
      Joseph

      • markgil

        ” free range and organic eggs would be a much better choice than factory farmed caged hens in regards to animal welfare.”

        please see this for the truth about “free range”, “cage free” and “grass fed” labels:

        http://www.humanemyth.org

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Thanks! Notice how I also said “It’s been my experience that these cage-free labels are often misleading consumers”

          But I have not see that link before thanks for sharing.

    • laguna

      How many times has this been addressed in the numerous videos on eggs?
      Watch the videos and you will learn…

  • P_a_u_l

    Currently the studies show that to eliminate risk of heart disease, LDL cholesterol levels should be under 70. Total cholesterol is not as important since it includes the “good” HDL cholesterol. So 170 might be a terrific number if your LDL is low.

    There is so much information here and on the web regarding cholesterol levels and heart disease risk. Please Google around and don’t expect to get an answer on a forum such as this. There is a lot of misinformation as well – for instance, Paleo Diet promoters are, for the most part, not concerned with heart disease – take that into consideration when you see their recommendations to eat meat and eggs.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Good comments about cholesterol, but I disagree with the fact you could find more on google than on our website in regards to a specific question. We have many moderators with credentials who read the comments. Our site users are very equipped and familiar with how the site operates, and often point to relevant videos or citations. I try to help everyone by answering questions as a dietitian. Certainly search engines like Google have their place, I use it all the time, but I still encourage folks to ask questions here in hopes we can give some suggestive advice.

      • P_a_u_l

        Ah, I was referring to the forum, not the Nutritionfacts.org website. Not that there isn’t valuable info on the forum but they are just opinions. People should learn to read some of the studies themselves (Google Scholar is one way) and just rely on someones interpretation (especially mine!)

    • charles grashow

      I take 20mgs of Atorvastaton QED + several supplements that lower cholesterol on different pathways than statins. I eat meat, dairy, eggs, fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc.

      Last blood work – 5/11/15

      TC – 129
      HDL – 54
      TG – 36
      Direct LDL – 67
      LDL-P 873

  • RicardoRichard

    Oh, how nice looking eggs you have presented! I cannot resist. Right after this comment I am going to prepare 4 soft-boiled eggs for my supper. I eat some 12 eggs a week but I lag far behind Dr Ribeiro – some 20-30 – a week and Mr Zieba around 30-40. I would love to have higher cholesterol level – I have only 210 and in spite of eating only 12 eggs a week I am unable to to raise it to 250. But I also consume meat – twice a week and fish 3-4 times a week and once or twice poultry. Besides I use coconut oil and olive oil. I have been doing so for decades except for coconut oil, which I have consumed for the last 2 years only. According to your predictions, I should have suffered from atherosclerosis for decades not to speak of Dr Ribeiro, a cardiologist and nutritionist, whose arteries should have been blocked completely by now. He declared in 2012 that he would tear up his MD diploma – (there are still his words on youtube – I could find you the link) if someone unequivocally proves that cholesterol is the root of a heart disease. Well, why not take up a challenge and make him destroy his diploma?

    I am really sick and tired of hearing over and over again about this cholesterol’s pernicious role. The other day I saw in your blog some tragic consequences of using olive oil. I guess, you are in the same boat with Dr Esselstyn.

    Dr Greger, you seem to consider health holistically. Hasn’t it occurred to you yet that fat (especially healthy fats – omega 3 – DHA and EPA are ESSENTIAL for human brain? The consequences of not putting such fat into your diet are pretty nasty. You haven’t read at least the last two books by Dr Perlmutter and not only his, have you?

    I love reading / watching your blogs and I begin to worry about what could happen to you if you carry on with no fat consumption. I am afraid I cannot see who could substitute you presenting blogs of at least the same quality even though they are biased.
    So look after your brain, Dr Greger. It is high time.

    • Leonid Kalichkin

      Do you think your anectodal example is a good proof against all scientific evidence that shows effects of dietary saturated fats and cholesterol on progression of atherosclerosis? High LDL levels cause atherosclerosis. You may not get it, but most people will. A single person like you won’t change statistics.
      You are your own worst enemy here. Another cholesterol denier. Good luck with your slow suicide.

      • RicardoRichard

        Nothing anecdotal (only hard-core scientiists usually dismiss reality calling it anecdotes) but real fac ts of life that so-called science is unable to answer. Why? Read Sheldrake and Chopra – they are also scientists who a long time ago decided to leave this stinking dungeon science of the Newtonian mechanics and Cartesian reason. There’s more to that. That 17th science needs updating – if not something more dangerous may occur – a return to the Dark Middle Ages.

        There’s dozens of books talking about the cholesterol myth; update your knowledge. You are still living in the 1970s. 45 years have passed. Wakey, wakey!

        Even LDL is nothing bad -it must be split into large particles and small particles. And the latter ones only if oxidized are dangerous.

        PS Ya blagodaryu Vas za otvet, no tak nel’zya, ne polutchitsya. Vy govorite o moyom samoubijstve? I Vy zhelaete mne stchastlivoy puti k etomu? Eta put’ prodolzhaet uzhe 30 let. Stchastlivo.

        • Leonid Kalichkin

          People can write as much books as they want, offer arguments and theories, but if they don’t work and if they can’t be proven by experiments, they are distracted from reality. They don’t work.

          I prefer updating my knowledge with conclusions of carefully designed and repeatable experiments and researches. All non-HDL cholesterol particles that contain ApoB are atherogenic. You don’t need inflammation to make them sticking to your arteries, they are doing it on their own, just because they are flowing in your blood. They don’t need to be oxidized. Non-HDL cholesterol particles cause inflammation. Inflammation is measurable, and when you lower your non-HDL cholesterol level, it goes down.

          If you want my anecdotal example, there is. My grandmother was diagnosed with high LDL and atherosclerosis and died of heart attack at the age of 57. She was a meat-lover. She didn’t change anything after diagnosis. Just like you.

          • RicardoRichard

            Gospodin Kalichkin, izvinite, no mne kazhetsya, tschto u Vas problema v angliyskom yazyke. Tschto? Oni ne rabotayut? O tschiom Vy govorite? Tschto Vy znaete o Tschopre i Sheldreiku? Oni tol’ko pishut knigi???

            Znaete, ya bojus’, potomu tschto esli lyudi nauki budut postupat’ tak dal’she, priydiot revolyutsya i unitschtozhit wsjo: samye bol’shye pobedy nauki i vozvratimsja v tschornye veka X-XIV. Nauka dolzhna ponyat’, tschto
            tol’ko Dekart (?) i Nyuton eto tschistaya glupota, potomu tschto samaya zhizn’ stoit vyzhshe tschem nauka i poetomu nauka Dekarta i Nyutona nikogda ne poymyot v tschiom delo. Eto vidim naprimer zdes’. Kak mozhet byt’ tozhe samaya nauka nazyvaet beloe tschornym i na oborot, tschornoe belym. Ona dolzhna “upgrade”.

            Are you presenting your ”anecdote” as a real proof of life sciences’ wisdom and as a warning directed at me? OK, Mr Science, I will return a compliment telling you mine. Will you listen?

            My father has always eaten meat, not only lean tender meat, but also fatty pieces full of saturated fats. On top of that he also has been eating a lot of sugar – he carries candies and chocalates in every pocket of his clothes and you can find such things in every nook and cranny at home. He consume tons of this stuff.

            According to your science he ought to have been dead and gone not even should have reached your groundmother’s age. But you see he is 91. It is true he suffered a heart attack when he was 88. The doctors told him to stop running around (he always does it even though using crutches – he has been suffering from knee arthritis for some 10 years now). So what is your scientific comment?

            All in all, is my anecdote not valid, only yours? I will mention another one told by Dr Greger himself.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFFWstlfDRk

            If the same story had been told by Dr Perlmutter – it would have been dismissed as anecdote.

            Didn’t you know that more or less 50% of the people with high cholesterol suffer heart attacks? So what the heck of statistics are you talking about? Excuse me, do you belong to those die-hard scientists who are not even swayed by those statistics who go against their ideas?

            Only what is measurable is scientific? And consciousness? As it is not measurable, the science comfortably weashes its hands. It belongs to metaphysics – it says. And it is the centre of human life, well, not only human, actually, isn’t it?

          • Jesse Reinhardt

            I’m sorry to hear about what happened with your grandmother. However, LDL-C alone is not a good predictor of heart disease and you could have LDL < 100 mg/dl and still have a heart attack.
            http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/majority-of-hospitalized-heart-75668

            I take into account triglycerides, HDL, LDL, weight, smoking status, and physical activity to determine risk. Even if your LDL is high, you could have high HDL (negative risk factor) to balance it out.
            http://www.foodsafetynews.com/files/2010/02/cad20risk20ldl20hdl.png

            If your triglycerides are low and HDL is high then that is a poor mans indicator of LDL particle size, which means they are larger and less atherogenic.

            LDL particle number is still a better indicator of cardiovascular risk (but not in all cases) than LDL-C but if you have large fluffy LDL particles, it is likely that your particle number is not very high so this means less risk.

    • TV53

      A study of one isn’t much use to anyone, but you certainly seem to be proving that cholesterol will rise with consumption of animal products. Judging by your picture, you don’t look that old, and since heart disease can take decades to manifest itself through an event, I wouldn’t exactly proclaim victory just yet. You also seem to have a lipid profile that’s fairly typical for a large number of Americans. Since we are one of the sickest countries in the world, that’s not something I’d call a major predictor of continued health.

      • RicardoRichard

        I am not American but European through and through. I am 62 and the photo was taken a year ago. As you see I have been prospering on cholesterol, I eat 12 eggs a week, quite a lot of fish some meat and tons of vegetables and fruits. I have not proclaimed victory but I simply study a lot. Perhaps I am not a human being but perhaps I am a reptilian … :-))) And I am not the only example and not going to repeat names. Mainstream medicine commits genocide every year. Dr Greger himself talks about it and this medicine is part and parcel of the scientific Establishment.

    • P_a_u_l

      Did you actually read the article? The connection between eggs and cholesterol was demonstrated by the most demanding study mode – a crossover study – no confounding variables. The same individual could watch his cholesterol rise and fall with diet. Don’t see any shreds of Dr. Ribeiro’s diploma floating in the air.
      Cholesterol production varies from individual to individual. Some people have exceeding low levels no matter what they eat (the impetus for the new blockbuster PCSK-9 inhibitor drugs). And despite having cholesterol levels around 30 or 40, live healthy lives. The liver generates all the cholesterol that’s needed for the brain and other needs, so loading up with cholesterol is at best a total waste and at worst, will kill you.

      • RicardoRichard

        What’s the problem? Present it to Dr Ribeiro and you will see his diploma floating in the air.

    • Thea

      RicardoRichard: If you really believe that Dr. Greger, “…carr[ies] on with no fat consumption”, then I invite you to spend just a wee bit of time investigating the information on this site. This site extols the virtues of nuts, seeds, tofu/traditional soy products, broccoli, etc. All healthy foods containing fat. And all the types of foods that one needs for a healthy brain.

      By no means does this site promote a diet with “no fat consumption”. Instead, this site helps people to understand that some foods which have fat in them are simply not healthy (while others are). The gigantic number of scientific studies listed for you on this site show how risky it is to include significant amounts of eggs, meat, dairy and yes even highly processed plant foods like oils in your diet.

      You are free to ignore this information. But be very careful about making claims about the content of this site. We do not want to spread misinformation.

      • rob

        I’ve been reading a lot on healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, and I use them in my morning smoothies. Fifteen years ago I had triple bypass surgery, never had a heart attack had high tryclycerides and cholesterol. I now have cholesterol of 110 but eating much healthier. I am 81. I have severe osteoarthritis and some pagets.I feel good but have low tolerance for exercise and walking too long. I also had 2 hip replacements 13 and 14 years ago. Healthy eating is my focus now.

        • Thea

          rob: re” Healthy eating is my focus now.” Good for you! It sounds like you are doing much better now.

          I don’t know anything about pagets, but of course, I have heard of osteoarthritis. Just in case you weren’t aware, I thought I would let you know that Dr. Greger has some videos on that topic:
          http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=osteoarthritis

          Good luck!

      • RicardoRichard

        Thea, I could be ignorant but I think no vegetarian food contains DHA unless it is sea algea difficult to get and rather expensive – an indispensable fat needed for the brain (Perlmutter, Kruse, Ribeiro).

        Are you accusing me or warning me? I have never made a claim that this site spreads misinformation. I know it is a serious site and Dr Greger is serious as well but he is so prejudiced against non-vegetarian diet so he resorts to cherry-picking. Dr Kruse and Dr Perlmutter and Dr Ribeiro also present scientific data to support their views.

        A human being has always consumed meat and there are people who still do that and live over 100 years. And this is human experience that Greger’s view makes an effort to mine.

        Besides soy is DANGEROUS unless it is fermented. It combats testosterone in men and boosts estrogen in women producing hormonal imbalance.

        As a PhD holder, albeit not in this field, I will never accept that white is black and the vice-versa. It is not science unless we are entering or have just entered a new paradigm that will make science relative in the sense that something is true for Dick but is false for Hurry (impossibility to replicate the experiment that will bring the same results), because there is no other explanation that a cardiologist/nutritionist risks tearing up his MD diploma if he is proven wrong (an important supplement to his statement concerns boiled eggs not fried -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTUU1OGMqLQ 48:15.). And how could it be otherwise if he eats some 35 eggs a week (for him an egg is the second best food, after human milk), the third is coconut oil! That awful saturated fat – Dr Greger will say). And look at him – he looks at most 55 but he is 70!!! He puts into practice what he “preaches”. He does not wear glasses nor contact lenses. He teaches people how to grow old without becoming old. And he is the epitome of good health whereas in Western world people give examples of longevity, but what is the point of living a long life if the last 15-20 years you in fact have to struggle against various complicated illnesses?

        • P_a_u_l

          Having a Ph.D. does not make one immune from bias or prejudice. For instance, your statements regarding soy do not bear out and you site the same physicians (Dr Perlmutter and Dr Ribeiro) as though their message trumps the thousands of studies that may differ. What does contact lens wearing have to do with anything? I began wearing glasses at the age of 6 – ate eggs several times a week, so….

          And by the way, “70!!!” is no longer considered ancient these days. My mother began succumbing to the devastation of a life on high fat foods when she turned 80. At at time in her life when she should be enjoying her grandchildren and socializing with fellow seniors, she instead spends her time hooked up to a dialysis machine and poking herself with needles and downing countless drugs with side effects that require other drugs.

          From what I see of your messages, you just can’t bear the thought of life without eating animal products and want to post-justify your decision. Just say, ‘I know meat and eggs may be bad for me but I chose to take the risk’ – I have a lot of respect for that approach.

          • RicardoRichard

            I am not justifying anything. I have always been an omnivore. It is not that I “can’t bear the thought of life without eating…”And in fact I am not very fond of eating but a rational thought tells me to eat everything that is edible. I never liked sugar and pastries but at least once a month I have a craving for a piece of cake. I stopped eating artificially hydrogenated products in processed foods some 10 years ago. I don’t like pizzas but I do like omletes and pancakes which I must have at least once every 2 weeks. I like having a hamburger once every 6 months.

            Those studies you mention are either written by die-hards who are losing ground or by newbies who in order to be in medicine must toe the line. I know what it looks like.

            There are other names. Dr Osborne, Dr Hyman, Dr Brogan, Dr Axe, Dr Kresser, etc , etc except the second one they are in their 30s or early 40s. And they do not lie. And they are linked to the Integrative and Functional Medicine, which to my mind is the future of Medicine. I suppose one must have an open mind and never get stucked in one circle however much scientific it may look like.

          • P_a_u_l

            Richard – Why do you lump the hundreds of nutrition researchers together as “die-hards” and liars? If you have a Ph.D. in science you know one of the most satisfying things for a researcher is to prove conventional wisdom wrong not confirm something that is already proven. Chris Kresser is a nice guy but he is not a Dr. Kresser. (Not that one needs a Ph.D. to do research but you seem to be very impressed with the title.) If you are a scientist, you of all people should be able to dig up the actual studies and look at the statistics and decide for yourself.
            As far as your choice of food, that’s fine. And if animal products are so critical as you claim, from your description of your habits, it doesn’t sound like you’re eating enough to get any of their ‘unique’ nutritional value at all, such as Vitamin B12 (You probably should be taking supplements as well).
            Yes you look very youthful for your age, but I want to feel youthful when I’m 80 and not be a burden upon relatives and require constant visits to hospitals and clinics. I’m a little older than you. Check back with me in 20 years or so and we can compare hospital bills :-) (Although european health care is certainly better than here in the US)

          • kylemeister

            It could be added that a couple of the other people mentioned are apparently chiropractors. (It has seemed to me that many of the people providing questionable health advice/products are chiropractors.)

            I wonder if RicardoRichard accords any weight to, say, Dr. Roberts (editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology) or Dr. Williams (president of the American College of Cardiology) …

          • P_a_u_l

            Yes. I’ve gone to some of these websites and watched and heard interviews with them. They have charismatic, likable, persuasive and “believable” personas that are very attractive to some people. They also sell books and programs. Unfortunately they do a lot of harm to so many of those “believers”. Human nature…

          • RicardoRichard

            There are people and people everywhere. If you gain practice you will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Read and watch here and there and draw your own conclusions.

          • P_a_u_l

            Yes. I’ve gone to some of these websites and watched and heard interviews with them. They have charismatic, likable, persuasive and “believable” personas that are very attractive to some people. They also sell books and programs. Unfortunately they do a lot of harm to so many of those “believers”. Human nature…

          • RicardoRichard

            As long as Medicine sees a “fragmented” person, we will never go any further. What’s the point of having clean arteries – no fat, no oil consumption – if you end up with Alzheimer and you will not be able to recognize your children/friends? The future is in Integrative Functional Medicine. This mainstream medicine is excellent at saving lives in desperate situations even through drugs or operations but at the same time it shouldn’t be authorized to treat diseases. Read or listen to Mark Hyman for instance.

          • RicardoRichard

            I am not impressed by titles. I simply like talking to open-minded people.
            Millions of studies you talk about are simply outdated. Today human race advances at an estonishing speed. Look at microbiome. Only for the last 5 years have we learnt fantastic things. Doctors usually do not updaste their knowledge unless they are researchers. So tell them about the microbiome in your gut as your second brain and you will be laughed at, because they usually feel superior, for they are MD. But what do they know about “may food be your medicine and your medicine your food”?
            B12 is too little. One must take also B6 and Folate.
            There will be nothing to compare, because in general here in Europe all is paid for unless you want something extra. But the other side of the coin is that if you earn say 3k every month, you bring home actually 2k – 1 is taken away from you for all those expenses.

          • P_a_u_l

            Some good points. But, think about it, just because a nutritional study is not current doesn’t mean the conclusions are invalid. If a study protocol is first-class, its conclusions should stand forever.

            While its off-topic, remember, here in the US we fool ourselves into thinking we are getting away with something due to our lower taxes, but in the end we pay dearly through extremely expensive treatments for chronic disease, outrageous drug prices and inflated hospital costs to make up for the care for the poor and uninsured. Here in the US, mainly the lives and health of the wealthy count. If that’s the way you want to view your fellow humans, come on over!

          • largelytrue

            “…a rational thought tells me to eat everything that is edible.”

            Hopefully it’s just a slip of dogmatic (and not the delusional) mindset, but this sort of statement, beside being simply amusing, gets to the heart of your problem. You are identifying irrational beliefs as rational and holding to them vigorously, or holding to them vigorously and then insisting that they are rational in order to quiet the dissonance of your irrational belief patterns. But either way, the outcome is similar.

            You construct a straw man for the claims that science can make about the connection between diet and mortality in any one person, then hem and haw about how you aren’t dead yet, as if this were even unlikely from the scientific point of view, given the information that you’ve supplied and the information about you that is as yet unspecified. You have very little respect for how little potential there is for the unsystematically studied experience of a few people to falsify a statistical theory about populations. It’s simply unsightly in someone who claims to be highly educated in a scientific discipline that shares some of the same sort of statistical thinking in its theories.

            Anyway, you eat a number of eggs per day (approx 3) and you have high cholesterol, but not as high a cholesterol level as some other people. Why does this shatter what you sneer at as the “so-called” scientific view? Mainstream science predicts that there will be interindividual variation in the response due to genetics and other factors, and that at high cholesterol intake, the rate of response to additional cholesterol in the diet is marginally decreasing. For example, see Hopkins’ meta-analysis and review of metabolic ward studies that Greger references in this blog article.

            Also you claimed in your discussion with me that you had only been engaging in the intensively eggy part of your diet for 12 years, not “decades”. Which is it?

        • Thea

          RicardoRichard: re: “I could be ignorant but I think no vegetarian food contains DHA unless it is sea algea…” You are indeed ignorant about this point. You could learn more from the talk given by Jeff Novick called From Oil to Nuts if you really want to know more.

          I would normally address your post with more information, but all of your points come from a place of ignorance, AND I have yet to see any indication that you are interested in any way of rectifying that condition. The purpose of my post was to stop *you* from spreading misinformation about the NutritionFacts site (by claiming that Dr. Greger promotes a diet with no fat). That’s all.

          re: “…there is no other explanation that a cardiologist/nutritionist
          risks tearing up his MD diploma if he is proven wrong…” If he had any
          integrity at all, he would have already torn up his diploma. The
          information in this article (along with many other studies) proves beyond doubt that dietary cholesterol affects blood cholesterol (as another poster already explained to you).

          • RicardoRichard

            Thanks, that name rings a bell, but I will check it once again. Anyway it does not solve the whole problem – how many kgs of nuts a day do you have to eat in order to satisfy the minimum necessities of DHA?

            Besides a human being has always been an omnivore, hasn’t he? Up till mid-20th century heart attacks were not so rife and people ate meat and cholesterol and the rest of it that Dr Greger considers wrong. Why? On what grounds? The fact is that people in Western world started to consume more and more meat and thus causing imbalance in the diet. I think it will be sufficient to restore that balance instead of telling people that eating meat causes them health issues. This is not a scientific argument. No “mono-solutions” could rationally support your argument. The human being is much more complex.

            I don’t understand – if you have found the proof – just demand from Dr Ribeiro that he should tear up his diploma. If you are so convinced, why is he still alive consuming so much cholesterol? What does your science tell us about it? A freak of nature? He is not the only one.

            I still can’t understand the whole fuss about cholesterol. It is a myth – cholesterol causing a heart disease?. Dr Sinatra and many before him are also pseudoscientists? What the heck is going on? No cholesterol, no possibilities of producing vit D and hormones, it is indispensable in the membrane of cells and in the neurons. Who established the “normality” of 250 and then lowered it to 200? Why 200 and not 202? What is this hoax all about? About statins! Let them establish the correct number to 100 and then there will be some 4 billion new candidates for statins.

          • kylemeister

            You remind me of people who say, what’s this nonsense about carbon dioxide and global warming? Carbon dioxide is necessary for life!

          • Thule

            Just for your information, true omnivores NEVER gets atherosclerosis, no matter how much cholesterol and saturated fat they would ingest. While herbivores, like rabbits gets heart disease just like humans when you feed them a conventional Western diet, that’s the reason they are used for experimentation, they react exactly as the other herbivores.. including of course humans.

            It seems that despite your high cholesterol you want it even higher, looks like you think that a medication like statins, might be some huge scam don’t you? Well — is keeping people’s cholesterol level in check, and fewer people are dying of atherosclerosis thanks to it, despite all its secondary effects.

            BTW, when the doctors you mention, are able to REVERSE arteriosclerosis in terminal patients, JUTS by using that suicidal diet they sponsor, please present them here.
            I am aware that you must know that Dr Esselstyn does that, every day.
            And remember, just because some doctor with no prestige out there, who is paid by certain lobbies to claim their diet is such and such, doesn’t mean they do so.. they are just selling the product they are paid to sell.

            Every day a lot of idiots are born, and for them.. there are always the scammers who sell them bridges. Sad to see some of them here. Unless of course, they are also well paid to disseminate confusion in this site, wouldn’t be surprising. They profit from the confusion… but they are wasting their efforts in this site (the average reader is more than well informed) So their misinformation only cause hilarity, but we tend to clarify just for the sake of casual visitors.

          • RicardoRichard

            Well, well well – I see you are a great specialist in DHA… You call me ignorant but who is ignorant is you. At the same time you love throwing your weight around. I was not wrong – that there’s no DHA in walnuts. Your ex-cathedra discourse a posteriori looks nothing but pathetic. Go back to research and then open up your mouth to speak.

            Walnuts like flaxseed have no DHA, only ALA (if you know what it is) Obviously it may be converted to DHA but the rate of conversion is 4% sic!
            http://www.dhaomega3.org/Overview/Conversion-Efficiency-of-ALA-to-DHA-in-Humans

            So how many kgs of nuts should you eat? I am asking the same question again to have the same amount of DHA as in fish? I am shooting at random – 2 kgs of walnuts/flaxseed?

            Please don’t pretend to be an expert – more humility, please. I see I have come across another blind supporter of your circle. Yes, it is very comfy to repeat like a parrot what your leader is saying… But
            I really doubt that Dr Greger has ever said such nonsense. He is too serious, too knowlegeable and too cautious although he knows perfectly how to manouvre in his research to be on his safe side.

            Concerning Novick, he is a carbon copy of Esselstyn. First and foremost he is totally wrong considering calories as indication of junk foods. It was OK until the end of the 20th century. By the same token omega 3 in walnuts you defend is also junk food and it makes you put on weight – according to Novick himself.

            In 2011 or 2012 a study from Harvard School appeared telling us that calories are not made equal. Dr Mercola wrote about it extensively and Dr Perlmutter’s own experience with his patience confirms the idea.

            Apart from that, have you heard of ketogenic diet? Perhaps you will need it yourself one day if you carry on like that.

            So where did you take your knowledge from? From your dreams or from your own publications on the Internet? Read Dr Perlmutter’s last two books, “The peddler” can teach you something because your knowledge is below that of peddlers. You will learn something useful and practical. The other option is to stay with your blinkers on and with your like-minded people stew in your own unbalanced and real true juice, because the truth undoubtedly belongs to your circle – you are the only scientific gods who hold the truth and the golden key to human health.

            In future I will know how to read your comments.

            Have a nice day.

          • Thea

            RicardoRichard: re: “I was not wrong – that there’s no DHA in walnuts.” I never said I was talking about walnuts. I never said I was talking about nuts at all. You made that assumption.

            I stopped reading your post after your statement about walnuts. If you watch Novick’s talk and see the hard numbers and then want to continue the conversation, you know where I am.

          • Richard Kurylski

            I did not make any assumptoions. The context was more than obvious. Read the whole thing once again and you will see; even a junior school student will understand that I was talking about walnuts. And you are trying to wonder from the point now just not to show your gaffe.

            Read Chris Kresser and Perlmutter and they will show you different hard numbers. But if your circle is the only scientific god – so stay healthy because there’s nothing to talk about a person with a closed mind. Attention, you may continue to have clean arteries but your brain will not allow you to show your writing qualities. Listen to Perlmutter. Open your mind

          • Thea

            Here’s what everyone needs to know about Perlmutter:
            http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/06/problem-with-the-grain-brain-doctor.html
            No real science there…

          • RicardoRichard

            A drowning man catches at a straw. The mainstream medicine counter-attacks. The die-hard’s days are counted. So they try to organize witch-hunting. Perlmutter, Mercola. Who will be next? Chopra? Hyman? Brogan? Osborne? Only because they have refused to toe the line, therefore they must be professionally destroyed.

            Or perhaps pure envy is at stake…

            What are you actually defending? On the one hand you are in this circle defending your guru and on the other you are telling me about the hard numbers chosen by Novick (another guru?) He is showing us that olive oil is just a sh- but Dr Greger in his lecture is telling us that olive oil is good. Where do you stand, actually? A divided loyalty usually does not last long.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFFWstlfDRk
            In order to spare you some time – you don’t have to watch
            everything – just see 37:23.

  • rodrigo rangel

    what happend if you just eat the whites it will be better?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Egg whites don’t have cholesterol. They still have protein, but lack fiber and antioxidants. Not sure exactly how their protein relates to increased risk of IGF-I, but animal protein may increase IGF-I production.

  • haroldjitschak buenodemesquita

    Dear Dr Greger,
    Thanks so much for your effort to bring nutrition to the general public and to doctors!
    For some 30 years I have been instructing my patients and groups about good nutrition.
    Honestly I started when I read the book from Rudolph Ballentine: Diet and nutrition [somewhere around 1980 ] which i consider still one of the most balanced [and even with quite a bit of humor, the last issue i also appreciate so much in your talks!] books i read, even if it may not be “up to date” by now.
    A later book from him is: Radical healing.
    Transition to Vegetarianism from him may be your fist choice!
    I am writing you for one reason and i hope you may receive my remark[s] with good intentions.
    When I saw your video about eggs i was a bit disturbed by the myopic sight on this subject.
    I have “lived” through the incredible non-sense, sponsored by the “parve”/
    margarine etc industry of the Western food giants for so many
    decades.[Unilever and other big giants don’t care to much about ethics]
    Eggs
    was one of the biggest lies in my eyes but with a happy ending: it was
    shown to be a scam and every doctor in “natural medicine” knew this for
    all the years.
    Therefore it surprised me that you choose a few articles to prove your point.
    You
    don’t differentiate between eggs which comes from chickens fed with
    rubbish food [ and the product may then be equal to “margarine”] or
    those of chickens that are free-roaming.
    On top of that scrambled eggs [even from good eggs] maybe harming in the long run,this in contrast to [soft] boiled eggs.
    The same is true for chicken meat and any product we eat
    [where
    does it come from ?] , just like Alaskan salmon is for sure worth
    eating and all other salmon NOT [as you rightly showed in a video i
    remember]
    I highly appreciate all your important work and may the Almighty bless you with the strength to continue for many, many years!

  • charles grashow

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/805580
    Correlation Between Oxysterol Consumption and Heart Disease

    Ancel Keys, who some consider the father of the cholesterol–heart disease hypothesis said in 1997: “There’s no connection whatsoever between the cholesterol in food and cholesterol in the blood. And we’ve known all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit”

    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/59/1/39.full.pdf
    DIET AND SERUM CHOLESTEEOL IN MAN: LACK OF EFFECT OF DIETARY CHOLESTEROL
    ANCEL KEYS, J. T. ANDERSON, OLAF MICKELSEN, SADYE F. ADELSON AND FLAMINIO FIDANZA

    SUMMARY

    1. Two cross sectional surveys in Minnesota on young men and 4 on older men showed no relationship between dietary
    cholesterol and the total serum cholesterol concentration over most of the ordinary intake range characteristic of American
    diets.

    2. Two surveys on the Island of Sardinia failed to show any difference in the serum cholesterol concentrations of men of the same age, physical activity, relative body weight and general dietary pattern but differing markedly in cholesterol intake.

    3. Careful study during 4 years of 33 men whose diets were consistently very low in cholesterol showed that their serum values did not differ from 35 men of the same age and economic status whose diets were very high in cholesterol.

    4. Comparisons made of 23 men before and after they had voluntarily doubled their cholesterol intakes and of 41 men who halved theirs failed to show any response in the serum cholesterol level in 4 to 12 months while the rest of the diet was more or less constant.

    5. A detailed study of the complete dietary intakes of 119
    Minnesota businessmen failed to show any significant in
    crease of serum cholesterol with increasing dietary cholesterol
    intake.

    6. In 4 completely controlled experiments on men the addition to or removal from the diet of 500 to 600 mg of cholesterol daily had no effect on the serum cholesterol fall produced by a rice-fruit diet or on the rise in changing from a rice-fruit diet to an ordinary American diet.

    7. In a completely controlled experiment on 5 physically healthy men the change from a rice-fruit diet containing 500mg of cholesterol daily to the same diet devoid of cholesterol had no effect on the serum level.

    8. In a similar experiment with 13 men receiving 66 gm of fat daily there was no significant effect in changing from
    a cholesterol intake of 374 mg/day to one of 1369 mg/day. In another 12 men the reverse change was likewise without effect on the blood serum.

    9. It is concluded that in adult men the serum cholesterol level is essentially independent of the cholesterol intake over the whole range of natural human diets. It is probable that infants, children and women are similar.

    • beallen0417

      Charles I would think that what matters is the baseline cholesterol level. If someone starts with a healthy LDL cholesterol under 70 and add dietary cholesterol, you will see an increase in the cholesterol level. If you start with a high LDL over 90, there may be no effect. I liken it to the effect of lit matches on the temperature. Once things are already on fire, added matches make a trivial difference.

    • Thule

      Just to begin, could go for dozens of entries here:

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-saturated-fat-studies-set-up-to-fail/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/does-cholesterol-size-matter/

      For decades, “on the basis of concerns from the American Heart Association and consumer groups, the Federal Trade Commission carried out successful legal action – upheld by the Supreme Court-to compel the egg industry to cease and desist from false and misleading advertising that eggs had no harmful effects on health.”

      See “anti-cholesterol attacks on eggs resulted in severe economic loss through a reduction in egg consumption,” so the egg industry created a “National Commission on Egg Nutrition” to combat the anti-cholesterol, anti-egg publicity with
      ads like this, exclaiming there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that eating eggs in any way increases the risk of heart attack,” which the U.S. Court of Appeals found patently false and misleading.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eggs-and-cholesterol-patently-false-and-misleading-claims/

    • P_a_u_l

      When were the cholesterol levels measured for each of these studies?

      See:http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-the-egg-board-designs-misleading-studies/

      Unless you can demonstrate that the systematic error introduced by measuring fasting blood levels was accounted for, the articles you site don’t support your bias.

  • Brian Preston

    I’m still eating eggs, ice cream and meat. My total cholesterol has dropped from 210 to 160 with a large drop in LDL. The only thing I have done is increase my vegetable intake.

    • Corsair4

      It seems Brian, that you’ve made the point.

      “only thing I have done is increase my vegetable intake”

    • Jim Felder

      Do you still eat exactly the same amount of eggs, ice cream and meat? Or is it that your increased vegetable intake has displaced some of those other foods from your diet? In addition to vegetables, have you made other changes to your diet like switching to whole grains from refined grains, eating leaner cuts of meat, switching to fresh meat as opposed to cured meats?

      If you are keeping calories the same, diet is a zero sum game. If you have been losing weight during this time AND increasing your plant-food consumption, then your animal food consumption would have had to be even further reduced. So your reduction in cholesterol could still be more a result of a reduction in animal food intake even though, as you say, you haven’t stopped eating them entirely. BTW, 210 -> 160 is great! Keep it up.

  • Marlon Welter

    “Dietary cholesterol doesn’t raise blood cholesterol” is all over in german media. “Eggs are a healthy part of our diet” was the message of a tv show I saw a few days ago. So happy you touched this topic once again Dr. G, Everyone here loves eggs, so everybody wants them to be healthy. I’m sure it will take many more years till the public will recognise that eggs are not as healthy as people think.

    • Jim Felder

      And that statement does have some truth in it, as far as it goes. If those making the statement were trying to be fully truthful they would say “Dietary cholesterol doesn’t raise blood cholesterol much but only if you already have high cholesterol. If you have truly healthy cholesterol levels of under 150, which we all should be working diligently to obtain, then dietary cholesterol can have a much more significant effect on blood cholesterol”. But that is a nuanced answer that doesn’t do anything to sell more eggs, so why tell all the truth when telling just a selected portion is so much more profitable.

  • charles grashow

    http://www.turnx.info/Maximum_Nutrition_on_Internet/Greger.pdf
    Maximum Nutrition:
    Transitioning Toward a Plant-Based Diet
    With Michael Greger, M.D.

    Specific Grocery Substitution Products Mentioned by Dr. Greger:

    Does the good doctor still recommend ALL of this processed food??

    • Jim Felder

      The key word here is “Transitioning”. These are usually transition foods for a lot of people moving to a plant-based diet to give them foods that have similar taste and texture profiles to the animal based foods they are coming from. Food can be a very emotional subject as you have demonstrated and trying to get people to completely change their diet in one enormous step is a mostly futile endeavor. In addition not all packaged foods are equally bad. That is why YOU MUST ALWAYS READ THE LABEL! For example Shedded Wheat cereal is certainly a processed food, yet only has one ingredient, 100% whole wheat.

      And my guess is that you didn’t read the list of recipes that Dr. Greger also provided, which don’t use these foods. Dr Greger is definitely trying to move people first off of very unhealthy animal foods to less unhealthy plant-based processed foods (if they need that intermediate step) and then onto a whole-food plant-based diet with only a few minimally processed foods. And even after you have moved to a WFPB diet, there is room for a few occasional luxuries like some of the highly processed foods on this list. We aren’t trying to be acetic monks here.

      But honest inquiry wasn’t really your actual motivation was it. You were just looking for a “gotcha” to use to put down Dr. Greger and by extension an entire way of eating that seems to upset you a lot.

  • markgil

    people who are only aware of the health aspects of eggs should check out this article in order to increase their awareness about the ethical issues:

    http://freefromharm.org/eggfacts/

  • Marty from Freo

    i checked the refs for this article and found another meta study in 2013. AM J Clin Nuttr. 2013 Jul 98(1):146-159, which concluded there was no association between eggs and CVD, although it did point out that most of the population has high cholesterol anyway so maybe increasing it more with eggs doesnt impact CVD risk. Could you comment on why you didn’t discuss this study? also I noticed that all Dr Gregers comments on pubmed on around 21 papers have been removed by moderators, but interestingly there were no other comments on those papers. i’m a big fan of your work but would appreciate some understanding of what’s going on here. Thanks.

  • bittersweet

    Peoples’ come-back to this is that they eat organic eggs with more lecithin.

    • Jim Felder

      The nutrients of concern are the animal protein, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, all of which are present in the same amount in organic eggs. Lecithin might have some positive effect and so an increased amount might be slightly off-setting. But difference is likely the difference between having your foot run over by a Prius or an SUV. Your foot might not be as badly mangled by the environmentally friendly Prius than if it were run over by the gas guzzling SUV, but at the end of the day all that really matters is that your foot was run over.

  • walterbyrd

    WebMD claims eggs do not contribute to diabetes. What is wrong with their sources?

    • Jim Felder

      Because most of it is from studies sponsored by the egg industry or by the USDA, which is captive to the animal food industry, and then is conducted by tame researchers in academia. The food industry is taking not just a page, but the entire play book from the tobacco industry on how to muddy the science so the public and policy makers don’t get a clear look unbiased science. And then they spend million of not billions of dollar promoting that skewed science by underwriting group like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who have aggregated to themselves the power to certify registered dieticians as well as more direct methods like lobbying congress. Not that it takes a lot. Most doctors and dieticians are eating the same sorry standard American diet as everybody else, and so welcome science giving them permission to continue to eat the foods they like.

      • walterbyrd

        Another article on WebMD claims that saturated fats are not really bad for you.

        > Aug. 13, 2015 — Saturated fats, like those found in red meat and high-fat ice cream, may not be so bad for your heart health after all. They aren’t linked to heart disease, according to a new report in BMJ.

        http://www.webmd.com/diet/20150813/saturated-fats-faq

        • P_a_u_l

          Before you try to hash this out in this comment section, read the articles on this website that answer your question. It all here. If you need to challenge one of the articles, fine, but first read them. Why do you think WebMD is so sacrosanct and credible? The articles are written by individuals with there own biases.

          • walterbyrd

            > Why do you think WebMD is so sacrosanct and credible?

            I don’t. I am just trying to make sense of very mixed messages.

            My wife is a type 2 diabetic and she loves, I sent her Dr. Gregers video about eggs and diabetes. She sent me the webMD article. Now my wife thinks Dr. Greger is totally biased, and not worth listening to.

            I think both sides need to be considered, to make a convincing case. If there is a verifiable reason to discredit one side, I am entirely willing to do so.

            If there is a widely trusted source that a view that is contrary to the view that you are presenting, I think that needs to be addressed.

          • P_a_u_l

            Is some respects, I agree with you and share your frustration. No doubt Dr. Greger has a bias toward veganism but the difference is, he is honest with no financial conflicts of interest. If eating eggs were healthy I believe he would admit that and, at the same time, argue on ethical grounds. Your wife is experiencing the massive assault of a huge industry that is threatened. As Oprah discovered when she was sued by the meat industry, these vested interests play the hardest of hardballs. If she is really concerned about her health, as opposed to hearing good news about her favorite foods, she will go through Dr. Greger’s thorough and meticulous videos and articles on this site and make up her own mind. Its easy to get spoon-fed false information from the media.

          • walterbyrd

            Is there any way to find out, for sure, if the webMD is industry propaganda?

            Has anybody specifically discredited the study, on which the article was based?

          • P_a_u_l

            First of all, WebMD is just a magazine. The article is written by a “science writer” who interviews a couple of experts and then distills the info based on her take. Second, if you read that article it doesn’t conclude what you claim it does, that saturated fat isn’t bad. Please take a closer look. Third, the experts she spoke with are department heads with lots on their plate besides addressing the saturated fats debate. Please, look at the journal articles that Dr. Greger presents here. These are the hands-on researchers not managers. Fourth, propaganda is promulgated consciously and unconsciously. The most effective propaganda mixes truth with unproven conclusions and sometimes outright lies. Its very difficult for people to parse that out. Fifth, 2nd hand information is filtered through the biases of the person giving that information. If the reporter, in this case Kathleen Doheny, loves ice cream, don’t you think she might explore just enough resources to confirm her bias?
            There is a website, Plantpositive.com where the author, through dozens of videos, meticulously goes through the literature and teaches you how to interpret the studies. He also exposes some of the well-know purveyors of doubt and misinformation regarding plant-based nutrition. Its pretty intensive but its up to us to become educated for ourselves and not rely on spoon-fed info.

          • walterbyrd

            I went back and looked that the webMD study, and noticed something strange (IMO).

            The title of the article is: “Egg-Rich Diet Not Harmful in Type 2 Diabetes” but the entire article, and study, was about cholesterol, and nothing else.

            It seems to me that if you are claim “Egg-Rich Diet Not Harmful in Type 2 Diabetes” the study would be more focused on A1C, and blood sugar, than cholesterol.

            Another thing that I found interesting: there is no mention of how much dietary cholesterol was consumed by the control group.

            The control ate less eggs, and an equal amount of protein, but no mention of how the control group got that protein. Maybe the control group made up the amount of protein by eating bacon?

            Could that be significant?

            From the article:

            > A total of 140 overweight people were recruited to one of two groups:
            > a low-egg group that would eat less than two eggs a week
            > a high-egg group that would eat two eggs per day at breakfast for 6 days per week
            > Those in the low-egg group were told to eat enough protein to match that of the high-egg group. Cholesterol was tested in both groups.

          • P_a_u_l

            Now you see why its important not to take the watered-down conclusions at face value. Nutritional studies are very difficult to conduct. Not that its impossible to come up with meaningful results – statistics really do matter – but unless one sees the details, its easy to come up with unfounded conclusions. For instance, people fill out diet questionnaires and these are often used as data inputs for the studies. There actually are studies that investigate the validity of these questionnaires and how accurate they are. That is a major source of uncertainty that sometimes researchers account for and sometimes they don’t. Its hard to determine what the affect of temperature is on something if the thermometer is unreliable.

          • Thea

            walterbyrd: I think the following book is very compelling for fighting Type 2 diabetes:
            http://www.amazon.com/Neal-Barnards-Program-Reversing-Diabetes/dp/1594868107/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440100607&sr=8-1&keywords=Dr.+Neal+Barnard%27s+Program+for+Reversing+Diabetes

            Dr. Barnard’s diet is 3 times more effective at stopping and reversing T2 diabetes than the normal diet recommended to people with diabetes. 3 times! And this is not based on anecdotal evidence. It is based on clinical trials and research published in peer reviewed journals.

            If you don’t think you will be able to get your wife to read the book (and try some of the recipes from the back of the book), maybe you could get her to listen to one of Dr. Barnard’s talks as a starting place. I believe there are some free ones on YouTube.

            You are in a very tough position. People throw out competing studies and think that is a meaningful way to get at the truth. There may be nothing you can do, but hopefully some of these ideas will help.

          • walterbyrd

            > Dr. Barnard’s diet is 3 times more effective at stopping and reversing T2 diabetes than the normal diet recommended to people with diabetes. 3 times!

            Can you provide a source for that?

          • Thea

            walterbyrd: It’s written on the cover of his book and provided with more detail inside. But you would have to look at the references in the back the book yourself (there’s a bunch) to find the specific reference/study he is referring to. I’ve read the book, but it’s been a long time/many years.

            Hopefully you could get a copy of the book from your library if you didn’t want to purchase the book yourself.

          • Thea

            Here’s something for you! I checked the PCRM website (headed by Dr. Barnard) and found this quote and link for you:

            “The program is based on a series of research studies Dr. Barnard and his colleagues have conducted over the years, the latest funded by the National Institutes of Health. Published in the August 2006 issue of Diabetes Care, that study found Dr. Barnard’s program to be three times more effective than the American Diabetes Association dietary guidelines at controlling blood sugar.”

            http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/29/8/1777.full

            Hope that helps.

          • walterbyrd

            I followed the link you provided.

            I found the study, but could not find that quote, or anything like it.

          • Thea

            walterbyrd: Sorry, I thought you wanted a link to the study itself. Here is a link to the page containing the quote I copied above. This page is also nice because it includes a video of the TED talk that Dr. Barnard has given on the subject:
            http://www.pcrm.org/media/experts/neal-barnard-diabetes-book

            You might be able to find other more detailed talks that he has given on youtube. Not sure since I haven’t listened to the TED version of the talk.

          • kylemeister

            Regarding that BMJ study, you might find it of some interest to look at the “rapid responses,” where among others Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn (prominent plant-based-diet advocates) have weighed in.
            http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h3978/rapid-responses

  • Axel Würz

    what can we make of the studies that seem to hint at eggs reducing some markers of inflammation?

    • Jim Felder

      Look at who funded the study. It would be a near certainty that it directly funded by the egg industry, through the check-off program managed by the USDA, but funded by “dues” collected from the egg industry or through back door channels like funding research chairs at universities whose holders then go on to do studies favorable to the egg industry. And take a close look at those studies and my bet is that you will see that they are try to narrow down the focus so tight that they can ignore the much larger negative effects of eggs as a whole. Or they the study doesn’t actually say that they reduce markers. Rather in the study they will replace with eggs something else that causes even more inflammation than eggs and then say that eggs reduce inflammation. You can spot this scam by comparing the abstract language to the language in the body of the paper. The abstract will use the word “reduce” by itself without qualification and only in the body of the paper say that it is relative to the higher level of inflammation caused by the baseline food. And even there don’t count on them acknowledging that on an absolute scale, eggs are still inflammatory.

      My favorite for this comes from the dairy industry that sponsors studies that showed that study participants drank milk and lost weight. It is all over the news. And that sound great. Milk does a body good right. But we know it has fat and that might be bad. But now there are studies that says not to worry. It actually will help you lose weight (or at least that is the inference). So I can keep eating cheese. Yay! But when you dig a little deeper you find that the language in a lot of the news stores came slightly paraphrased or even straight from the press releases issued by the dairy council which was helpfully emailed directly to all the new organizations (who are under staffed and so welcome these “pre-written” news stories). Worse is that in at least one of the studies those in the study who consumed dairy didn’t actually lose weight. Rather they just didn’t gain it as fast as the other arm of the study, the people who drank sugared soda. Findings from this and other similar studies are reflected through the fun-house mirror of the dairy industry and it came out that dairy can be part of a weight loss diet. Notice the inference but not explicit statement that dairy causes weight loss. A weight loss diet is a diet with fewer calories. Any food can be part of that diet just as long as calories are sufficiently reduced. As humorously pointed out elsewhere you could lose weight on an all-twinkie diet just as long as it had fewer calories.

      • Axel Würz

        Jim, thank you for your comment. It is helpful up to a point. Of course, it is necessary to be aware of the source of funding and the increased risk of bias and the stratgegies that may have been used to streamline results. However, unfortunately, a standard statement ‘it is funded by industry so it can’t be true’ may remain insufficient to advance knowledge and promote healthier eating. ıt is still necessary in my view to specifically demonstrate the strong and the weak points of each recearch article. Regarding the topic of inflammation and eggs for example to look at the choice of inflammation markers and if they are relevant or not and how do the results fit or not fit with other research ( that hopefully is not industry- funded). For example what does it mean that C reactive protein did not change but some other markers changed. ı am not an immunologist so I just wondered if someone has the bigger picture…

        • Jim Felder

          The animal food industry is completely about making a profit. They are not philanthropic organizations dedicated to the advancement of scientific understanding or the promotion of human health. So why would I assume that any study they fund is anything but self-serving? Not that there is anything wrong, per say, about making a profit, but I see no reason to assume anything other than that studies underwritten in any form by an animal food or processed food company or industry would do anything other than serve as a marketing tool to allow them to sell more product.

          But I would never make a blanket statement that just because it had industry involvement that the results of this study CAN’T be true. Frankly I would welcome strong, well designed, well executed studies from the food industry that look like they are truly trying to get to the larger truths and understanding of human nutrition. But most of the studies I have reviewed directly or seen reviewed here are weak to very weak. As a group studies funded by the animal and processed food industry often include few subjects who range of consumption of the specific nutrient being studies is very narrow and with a study duration that is for periods of time too short to see the difference they are looking for. Adding to the obfuscation the results of the study often are over controlled resulting in suppression of the very results that they are looking for. And they mostly retain editorial control and the right to withdraw the paper so that negative results that can’t be spun into some positive light never see the light of day.

          I would welcome large scale strongly designed and executed studies funded by the animal and processed food industries without any prejudicial influence coming from the company or industry group. Do you have any examples of such studies that you could share?

  • Marco Gorelli

    Vegan RD Ginny Messina writes

    “it’s been clear for a long time that the relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels is weak.”
    http://www.theveganrd.com/2015/02/the-2015-dietary-guidelines-what-will-they-mean-for-vegans-2.html#sthash.jICS0QUb.dpuf

    Who is to be believed? Why the differences?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Ginny is an excellent RD and extremely knowledgeable. She offers health solutions and dietary suggestions for those who wish to live a more compassionate life, not harming and exploiting animals, and assures nutrient needs are met. I did not hear her say that it’s “okay to eat eggs” because of this. She is just saying that dietary cholesterol is not as harmful as saturated fat for boosting LDL. We would agree! It’s always been known that saturated fat boost cholesterol more than dietary cholesterol alone.

      • P_a_u_l

        I agree with Marco’s concern. Her quote directly contradicts Dr. Greger’s conclusions. She did not qualify her statement by saying the relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels is weak in people who already consume large amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat. So it appears she is guilty of contributing to the confusion as well. I wonder if the plant-based nutritionist community even talks to one another.

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          I know Ginny. She has a comment’s section on her website. I suggest asking her.

    • Jim Felder

      And the relationship is weak only in populations that already have high cholesterol. After a certain point the flames don’t get hotter just because there is more fuel. It is different in people with healthy levels of cholesterol. They respond quite strongly.

      And with respect to eggs, this ignores the fact that they are a significant source of saturated fat and the response in blood cholesterol is strong to saturated fat even if the starting level is already high.

  • George M

    I think that if you have a normal life and your not alien to exercises, the cholesterol increase from eggs consumption is negligible (even if eating 1-2 eggs per day). I come from a farming family where eggs consumption is something as common as breathing. In our medical history we do not have hart deceases incidents or diabetes. A balanced diet and plenty of exercise is more important than caring for the cholesterol in eggs.

    • largelytrue

      What does your farming family die of?

    • Jim Felder

      That might be true if your LDL is under 70. If not, then eggs and other foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol are keeping you from better health. And to second largelytrue’s question and expand on it, what is the lifespan of people in your family and how many health issues do they have in say the last 20 years of their lives.

      I come from a farm family too and I can say that while my grandparents and great aunts and uncles had long lifespans, they all had significant health issues (heart disease, autoimmune diseases, diverticulitis, high blood pressure) that greatly reduced the quality of life for the decade or two of their lives. All were extremely active people. And for the younger generation, 4 of my 5 aunts had breast cancer in their 50s. One aunt died from it. And my mother died of cancer at age 66.

  • Rodrigo Cardoso

    “Just over half an egg a day may increase heart disease risk 6% (40% in separated diabetes patients),”
    What’s meant by ” ‘separated’ diabetes patients”?

    • Rodrigo Cardoso
      • Leonid Kalichkin

        It says that patients with diabetes are at greater risk of heart disease when consuming over half an egg a day than general population.

    • largelytrue

      Analyzing that subgroup (diabetes patients) separately; trying to get a number for diabetes patients that is informed only by the data on diabetes patients. ‘Separate’ and ‘pooled’ analyses are jargon in epidemiology and probably other statistical applications that touch on a demographic subject.

  • http://drclasquin.com fred clasquinc

    I find this article especially interesting because I have always been convinced that dietary cholesterol effects blood cholesterol as these studies indicate. Recently I was watching an interview on PBS evening “news” [of all places] with the head of the Tufts University School of Nutrition in Boston state just the opposite, that dietary cholesterol has not been shown to have any effect on blood cholesterol and I was wondering where she was getting her information from. Coming from the school of Nutrition at Tufts I can only suspect that there may be some industry funding for the school involved here or perhaps government funding at stake for her to make such a statement on our supposedly unbiased system of public television of all places. Or, is there really such confusion still present in our media and even in institutions of higher learning?

  • P_a_u_l

    Where do people think cholesterol goes once it enters your stomach? Most likely into your bloodstream, no? (Other suggestions?) How fast do you think you liver can process that cholesterol? Instantly? Doesn’t it make sense to believe that it does take time ( unless you have some super efficient liver) and that while the cholesterol is there is can do damage? Everyone has different efficiencies at removing cholesterol from the bloodstream and after a night’s sleep the baseline level is different for different people. In the interim, the dietary cholesterol is sitting in your arteries doing what cholesterol does.

    • RicardoRichard

      So reduce it to zero. And be happy. Read Dr Perlmutter – he will explain to you everything. See Dr Hyman, Dr Osborne and hosts of others. Open your mind and don’t get stuck.

      • P_a_u_l

        Richard – you are beginning to sound like a fortune cookie:-)

      • guest

        Perlmutter is a little bit country and a little bit quack & roll. He promotes a high fat animal product based diet?! Gross and yuck.
        I liken those high-fatters like Hyman and Permutter to the cigarette industry. Get the public all confused and they keep on eating bacon and butter. Brilliant! You are doing a great job confusing the readers here by promoting those quacks.
        Dr G, Unlike those you mentioned, promotes a low fat plant based diet because it actually works and is not rooted in the old Atkins shuck and jive.

  • Carl

    Egg yolks = inflammation.
    Inflammation = damaged arteries.
    Damaged arteries = cholesterol plugs in the damage.
    Egg whites = no problem.

    Also I think some of us are more susceptible to inflammation than others…..perhaps depends on the rest of our diet

    • Thea

      Carl: Your line of “Egg whites = no problem” does not reflect the evidence I am aware of. Egg whites = higher risk of big problems. It is true that egg whites do not have cholesterol. But egg whites are essentially all animal protein. Here’s what we know about animal protein in general and egg whites in particular:

      Dr. Barnard links potential kidney problems to animal protein (though I don’t have the details on that).

      Here on NutritionFacts, you can get a great education on how animal protein is linked to the body’s over-production of a growth hormone called IGF-1. IGF-1 helps cancer to grow. To watch the series about IGF-1, click on the link below and then keep clicking the “next video” link on the button to the right until you get through the bodybuilding video. Then you will have seen the entire series.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/igf-1-as-one-stop-cancer-shop/

      Darryl at one point reminded me of the methionine issue. Egg whites have *the* highest concentration of methionine of any food:
      http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000084000000000000000.html?categories=1,18,9,0,13,14,5,4,42,16,17,15,6,3,2,11,7,19,21,12,10,8,22
      Dr. Greger did a nice video showing the link between methionine and cancer.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/starving-cancer-with-methionine-restriction/

      Darryl also pointed out that, “…high methionine diets increase coronary risk in humans. In its associations with cardiovascular disease and other disorders, homocysteine may be functioning partly as a marker for the major culprit, excess methionine.”
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0939475305001092

      Dr. Greger recently posted some videos on how animal protein can raise insulin levels. The first of the following videos even specifically addresses egg whites.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/paleo-diets-may-negate-benefits-of-exercise/#comment-1978464793
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/if-white-rice-is-linked-to-diabetes-what-about-china/

      In summary: there are at least two clear pathways linking animal proteins, especially egg whites, to cancer: the IGF-1 and methionine. And there is some good evidence that egg white consumption contributes to heart disease and potential problems with T2 diabetes by raising insulin levels in a bad way.

      With all of the information we have about the harmful effects of animal protein in general and egg white in particular, I think it’s best to stay away from egg white. Why not get your protein from safe sources? IE: Sources which are known to have lots of positive health effects and will naturally give you a balanced amount of protein? (ie: whole plant foods) Make sense?

  • GaryPhD

    I wonder if consuming egg whites instead of whole eggs would make any difference on the cholesterol test mentioned above.