Transcript: Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis
Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.
As I noted last year, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study found that the daily consumption of the amount of cholesterol found in just a single egg appeared to cut a woman’s life short as much as smoking 25,000 cigarettes—five cigarettes a day, for fifteen years. Following up on that research, a study in the journal Atherosclerosis found that just three eggs or more a week was associated with a significant increase in artery-clogging plaque buildup in people’s carotid arteries, going to their brain—a strong predictor of stroke, heart attack, and death.
In fact, they found a similar exponential increase in arterial plaque buildup for smokers and egg-eaters. Those that ate the most eggs had as much as two-thirds the risk of those that smoked the most—the equivalent of a pack-a-day habit for 40 years or more.
This did not go over easy with the egg industry. As revealed in a series of internal memos about this group of researchers, retrieved through the Freedom of Information Act, the American Egg Board discussed the “wisdom of making industry responses when the public knows there is a vested interest….”
So, the Executive Director of the Egg Board’s “Egg Nutrition Center,” proposed they contact “some of our ‘friends’ in the science community” to have an “objective, external source author the response.” “If you do so,” he wrote to one of their “friends” at Yale, “we’ll certainly compensate you….” But, the prominent Yale physician refused to “participate in an overtly antagonistic letter,” given his friendship with one of the co-authors of the review.
If you can’t find someone with credentials to counter the science, why not just make one up? How’s this for a bizarre twist? An email was circulated to discredit the researchers by a Dr. Dr.—MD/PHD—and, why not throw in an MBA while you’re at it, who claimed the prestigious “researchers” didn’t “know a thing about nutrition.”
Only when the principal investigator of the egg study replied to the allegations did we learn that the Dr. Dr. doesn’t exist. His email was hacked. The poor guy was like, “I was on vacation; I don’t know what you’re talking about,” and, apparently, the culprit was never found.
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