Doctor's Note

This is the same prestigious research team that wrote the landmark review I based the videos Egg Cholesterol in the Diet and Avoiding Cholesterol Is a No Brainer on.

The 25,000 cigarette study is detailed in What Women Should Eat to Live Longer and it’s the opener to my 2012 year-in-review video Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, in which I explore the role diet can play in preventing, treating, and reversing our top 15 killers.

More on eggs in Carcinogenic Retrovirus Found in EggsEgg Industry Blind Spot, Total Recall, and Chicken, Eggs, and Inflammation.

Lots more Freedom of Information Act internal memo videos on their way—I've got stacks of boxes still to comb through!

For more context, read the associated blog posts: Eggs, Cigarettes, and Atherosclerosis, Why Are Eggs Linked to Cancer Progression?, and Egg Industry Caught Making False Claims.

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • Michael Roth

    A classic eggsample of eggspionage.

  • Carlo

    This recent meta-anlysis of cohort studies on the BMJ does not support the association:

  • Terri Joseph

    Did they test with authentic free-ranged chicken eggs which are known to contain less cholesterol? My mother has been eating these all her life (many more than 3 per week) and is 83 with no cholesterol or heart problems.

    • MaryMarkat

      My grandmother lived on a farm and ate organic eggs all her life and lived to be 104.

    • JC

      My grandfather RAISED chickens and eat eggs EVERY morning for breakfast and he was 93 when he died, had his hair, his teeth and lived pretty healthy life! It amazes me what these so called ‘experts’ are telling people to be ‘fact’ these days.

      • eggfan

        My grandfarher lived on a farm and ate up to 20 eggs per day and he was 110 when he died!


          Mother’s in China eat 10-20 eggs per day because they know how important they are to brain health and intestinal health throughout life!

        • babby660

          I love eggs, but how does anyone put away 20 of them in a day???

        • Betty

          How the heck is that even possible? 20 a day? Was there ever a moment during his day when he didn’t have an egg in his mouth? Yuck!

      • Dan

        No offence meant to you, but how old would he have lived if he had not eaten all those eggs? perhaps 103? We simply don’t know is the answer…but looking at the evidence from statistics. the more you eat the higher your risk of heart disease diabetes and lower longevity from animal proteins & TOR.



  • Mike Speer

    The hired response? Seems likely given he’s from Yale, says he’s friends with Dr. Jenkins, and specifically responds to the study. How big do you think the check was?

    • Veganrunner

      That’s disappointing about Dr Katz. I really enjoy his blogs on HP.

    • Matt

      Did you actually read it and the points made? Which points did you find to be fallacious?

  • Dan

    The Wikipedia description of atherosclerosis reveals how complex the disease is. Mentioned is the fact that several mummies show it. Why would pre-modern people have it? Possibly because most mummies come from the upper class, with excessive life style habits. Also mentioned is the high rate of atherosclerosis in autopsied, young veterans.

    • Betty

      The important point you made here is lifestyle differences. You could probably get away with eating a bunch of eggs if you also did physical labor or walked all day. You could probably get away with more alcohol consumption if you ate a vegetable based diet etc. all these factors come into play to create an overall lifestyle picture. One food or one factor will probably not kill you on it’s own ( except smoking) but all together, plus a sedentary lifestyle most certainly will. Vegetable based diet, daily activity or exercise and not smoking or drinking seems to be the formula for success. It’s about the big picture. I wish these health studies would do more of that. Because this focus on one type of food, although important, gives the wrong impression, IMO.

  • Southlander

    I found over the years, that the source of the funding (I always check and ask) for surveys, studies, polls etc. is often times just as important (or even more important) as the results. HIgh cholesterol does not mean atherosclerosis; while atherosclerosis does mean high cholesterol. In any case, I’m cutting back on my egg consumption. :-))

  • Bill

    Dear Dr. Greger: See the first comment for this link:
    which brings us to a recent meta-analysis showing no link between egg
    consumption and heart disease or stroke. Are not the results of a meta-analysis more reliable than any one study alone, since they combine the data taken using different methodologies and across different samples?
    I look forward to your response. Thank you.

    • Mike Quinoa

      Hi Bill,

      The linked study you provided didn’t quite give eggs a clean bill of health if you are diabetic:

      “Subgroup analysis suggested that consumption of up to one egg per day was associated with a significantly elevated risk of coronary heart disease in diabetic populations.”

      I also find the cloak-and-dagger damage control of the egg industry a bit disturbing. If their product is so healthful why would they resort to such machinations?

      • Bill

        Hello Mike,
        The egg industry’s behavior is indeed disturbing. However, I would prefer to be confident that when I pass along Dr. Greger’s summaries, I can count on them not being overstated. Otherwise, we both lose credibility.

        In court, when a party overstates their position, a second chance is rarely given.

        If a mistatement was made, it should be addressed, clarified, or explained away promptly.

        • Mike Quinoa

          Hi Bill,

          I totally agree with what you’re saying about credibility.
          The study Dr. Greger referred to seems to deal solely with egg yolk in relation to carotid artery plaque. This study thus encompasses a fairly narrow focus. Dr. Spence (stroke expert and author of “How To Prevent Your Stroke”) and Dr. Jenkins (one of the inventors of the Glycemic Index) are, to my knowledge, very principled researchers. That their study doesn’t necessarily align with other studies out there doesn’t invalidate it, or Dr. Greger’s credibility in presenting it .
          The design of a study can have a lot to do with the results, which may explain why different researchers come up with disparate conclusions about the same thing.

          • Chris

            “one of the inventors of the Glycemic Index”
            ^ LOL

          • Mike Quinoa

            Sorry, I don’t get your lol.

          • Bill

            The fact that members of the egg industry discussed ways to protect the reputation of their product may seem distasteful to some but is perfectly natural behavior that we all engage in. Such behavior certainly does not prove that their product deserves a bad, or good, reputation. It just proves that they are humans looking to protect their way of earning a living.

          • Gary

            Since it’s a foregone conclusion that the egg industry will tout the healthfulness of its product, we should rightly question the credibility of their statements or any study in which they are involved. It’s distasteful – to put it mildly – when companies put profits over health or honesty, and no, we do not all engage in that behavior (nor should we).

    • Mark Strong

      They are not “using methodologies”, they are using METHODS

    • Don Forrester MD

      Meta-analysis is a useful tool but not necessarily better. When bringing together several studies you bring in all the limitations of those studies. The reason you are seeing so many of these studies is that they are inexpensive.

    • Don Forrester MD

      Meta-analysis is a powerful statistical tool. You see more and more because they are easy to do and relatively inexpensive. The devil is in the details. When you combine studies you bring the limitations of each study into the new study. The researchers may exclude studies they should have included and included studies they shouldn’t have. Without knowing the details which are often hard to ferret out the results must be viewed with a grain of salt.

  • Dr. Nitram

    There is nothing wrong with eggs per se, especially “real eggs” produced in humane conditions. Factory eggs are loaded with unnatural compounds from the feed and chemicals. Free range eggs are amazing food and should be a part of a well-balanced diet. Just stay away from all that junk food – that is the source of most health problems.

    • Sherri

      I eat organic free range eggs every day also place tumeric spice over them with pepper. I am going to be 64 and my endocrinologist said all of my veins and arteries have no signs of being clogged. My cholesterol and other readings are all normal. If these people ate other items than eggs perhaps this study is tainted. Maybe it ain’t the eggs but all of the junk food and high fructose corn syrup that is really showing up.

      • Dr. Nitram

        You are right on Sherri. Most of the sickness we see is a result of bad diet full of processed foods. Eat good natural food and live without illness. Interestingly, I eat free range eggs every day and I too sprinkle with turmeric and pepper. I am almost 71, haven’t seen a doctor in 10 years or more.

        • Karl Young

          Why do people who view this site still confuse anecdotal evidence with scientific studies ? Sure, eating non-processed food is healthier than eating processed food but that’s irrelevant to the points discussed in the video (with which it’s fair to disagree, but to do so credibly should involve presenting evidence of the same sort as that presented in the video). I’m sure you can find someone who’s grandmother smoked 4 packs a day and lived to be 150, insists that the higher rates of lung cancer found for smokers in various studies must really be due to asbestos, and recommends that people who want to enjoy a long healthy life of smoking simply stay away from old buildings.

          • Dr. Nitram

            My sincere apologies, Karl. This is my first time at this site and I was unaware that it is strictly a forum to exchange data from scientific studies. Other posts led me to believe one could express personal opinions connected to the subject. I consider myself suitably chastised and will restrict my comments to those substantiated by appropriate studies.

          • Veganrunner

            Dr Nitram that isn’t necessary. You can say whatever you want. I find the recipes and insights interesting.

            The videos are amazing aren’t they? If you look under sources cited you can read the actual research or at least an abstract.

          • Bill

            Karl, please remember that scientific studies, with all do respect, are still only marginally more meaningful than ‘anecdotal’ evidence. We have all heard of studies that claim one conclusion, only to be contradicted by studies that claim different conclusions. We are each left to chose which ‘anecdotal’ studies we prefer to side with.

          • Dan

            This is the purpose of meta studies.

          • Dan

            This comment.

          • AZ DONALD

            your comment to ‘dr’ nitram was spot on and his sarcastic comment to you was plain insulting.

  • cobalamin
  • Daniel Wagle

    I found this same study mentioned in It measured artery thickness. I bet a lot of studies just do blood tests. These don’t always detect atherosclerosis. Some people have normal cholesterol levels and/or pass EKG’s and still have heart disease. You actually have to look at the arteries, and that is what the study did that Michael Greger cited.

  • RandyKreill

    Eggs are nasty chicken “periods”. Nobody needs the cholesterol in them, as we produce what we need. There are far superior and less expensive sources of protein than nasty slimey eggs! Cig. smoke is even nastier of course!

  • Devin Wiesner

    This is a study on the effect of daily egg consumption on endothelial function and cholesterol. According to this study, over a six week period daily consumption of egg substitute resulted in lower LDL and improved endothelial function, as compared to daily egg consumption.

  • Veggin’ out n Santa Cruz

    Dr. G., I’m a fan and follower of your website and greatly appreciate the science-based evidence you present. I have referred many clients to–many of whom are not vegan or even vegetarian but who are wanting to make healthier food choices. I am hopeful that as they learn about the many benefits of plant-based diets, they’ll shift in that direction. The photo that accompanied today’s video (a cigarette butt smashed into an egg yolk) is, in my mind, gratuitous and may turn readers away from rather than towards your site. Realize that not all of your readers are vegans but some may become vegans if your approach is respectful. (Full disclosure: I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 30+ years. I eat 1-2 locally raised, humanely produced eggs per week.)

  • Umor

    What about eating egg whites without the yolks? does al
    l of the above apply?

    • Antonio G.

      I would assume that most or all of the cholesterol content is contained in the yolk while most of the protein content is in the white (clear) portion.

      • Chad Eisenhart

        gram for gram, egg yolk has more protein

  • relax people

    why are the negative symptoms of eggs so shocking? this site has promoted nothing but a plant based diet (and maybe a few insects) based on studies. i am sure there are a lot healthier foods (esp. plant foods) than eggs. so accept the data, and keep the flow of new data coming. I doubt you will ever see a study declare that eating 1 egg a day will make you live 5 years longer. some of you need to relax. even though all at lot of research states that fish are bad and toxic, i still have it in moderation, simply because you will never avoid all the unhealthy things in life. what i appreciate about this site most is that it gives reason to people to adapt new ways of eating, try new foods, and improve their health.

    • Toxins

      Considering that fish is the most polluted animal product, next to fish oil, one can eat, I find it hard to accept heavy metals and other carcinogenic pollutants in moderation.

  • AnimalProductsArePoisonus

    Wow, Dr Greger sure hit a nerve with the egg eating folks, eh?

  • Shaun

    Dr. Greger,

    Thank you very much for making us aware of this danger. These monsters in industry deserve to be put on a very short regulatory leash since they don’t respect our right to know what effects their product has on us. Their top officers should also be prosecuted for the medical costs (and deaths) they’ve forced onto us without our knowledge and permission.

  • Joseph

    “this did not go over easy”


  • Antonio G.

    Another study needs to be done with free range (non corn/crap fed chickens) vs traditional caged crap fed chickens to see if the cholesterol content in eggs produced have any impact on plaque buildup. (Or has a study been done?)

    • Toxins

      Egg cholesterol varies very little between organic vs conventional, and this is simply an excuse people try to use to eat these unhealthy foods. cholesterol is inherent of eggs, and even if there was variability between the 2, it would be insignificant simply because these are all of the same species.

  • Barbara Reed

    So, eating non-cholesterol eggs such as Egg Beaters would be okay?

    • Toxins

      I would disagree, as we still have the issue of elevated IGf-1 to deal with when it comes to egg whites.

  • Michel Voss

    Thai women ( mean age 62, BMI 25) who ate THREE ADDITIONAL eggs DAILY, decreased LDL/ HDL-cholesterol ratio by 10 %, but BMI increased. It is not discussed why they took Atorvastatin etc. although they hat not even one other risk factor: ( open access, published five months prior the Jenkins study) No conflict of interests – I do not eat eggs since 1982.

  • Trevor

    These and so many other “research” articals are junk. Unless all the individuals in this study ate all the same thing and madew the same movement etc then there is no way to tell what they have ingested that caused the issues or their lack of movement. These are becoming tiresome-just like the report you found on the Gerson therapy. Why would I trust any MD with any study?

    • Trevor

      Allow me to confirm that when I mention Not trusting an MD I am not referring to you-mostly:0)

  • Denholm Aspy

    general argument about eggs being bad depends on the interpretation of
    two research papers (shown in the video).

    the first paper, the video’s author makes a claim comparing egg
    consumption to smoking 25,000 cigarettes over some number of years.
    However, this study had nothing to do with egg consumption at all – if
    you search the article, the word “egg” isn’t used even once. The
    cholesterol-intake measure used by these researchers was for ANY dietary
    source of cholesterol, and not eggs specifically.

    the second article, the way these researchers defined cigarette
    consumption and egg consumption was complex and not readily
    interpretable. Further, the graphs showed in the video require further
    explanation, and do not represent what most people will probably think.
    Basically, what these researchers found was that eating two eggs per
    week was nearly as bad as smoking a whole packet of cigarettes per week
    (which is very alarming!). However, it should be noted that the
    participants in this study were patients who’d been referred to a heart
    disease prevention clinic. In other words, they were a sample of people
    who were vulnerable to heart problems, and NOT a representative sample
    of the general population. Furthermore, the sample was overweight
    (average BMI = 27.4) and 13.3% were diabetic (higher than in the general
    population). An even more serious problem is that it’s very plausible
    that the people in this study who ate more eggs also ate greater amounts
    of other high-cholesterol foods like burgers, steak, etc. If this is
    true, then the supposed negative effects of eggs would be inflated by
    these confounding variables – perhaps dramatically so. Another way of
    putting this, is that the measure of egg intake might *actually* be
    measuring the intake of a whole bunch of other foods as well. Since the
    study did NOT measure the intake of any other kind of food except eggs,
    there is no way of exploring this issue within this study. Thus, no firm
    conclusions can be made from this study about how bad eggs are for you,
    nor can any firm comparisons be made against cigarette consumption.
    Even if you *could* make these conclusions, they would not necessarily
    be generalizable to the general population.

  • Guest

    Don’t cut back on eggs and dietary cholesterol:

    Fred A. Kummerow. Interaction between sphingomyelin and oxysterols contributes to atherosclerosis and sudden death. American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease, 2013; 3 (1): 17-26

    • Dimos


  • Proprotein

    You are sad. I would really like to know what you eat and how healthy you are? Judging by the picture not so much.put your brains to something useful.

  • Eggs arent bad

    My family eats eggs every day, we grew up on them just like my dad and his whole family did, guess what here is a shocker for you the average age of death (Natural causes not accident or some other freak thing) 78 OMG Eggs are a killer

    • Eggs arent bad

      Lets just be clear that heart health issues are not something my family deals with at all

  • John

    It depends how you cook them, obviously eating shit loads of fried eggs won’t do you much good, but there’s nothing wrong with eating eggs, and as a talented athlete my S&C coach encourages it as a meal, if I have a six egg breakfast I don’t need to eat again until 7/8pm, get real people

  • Andrew

    A Michigan State University analysis, reported a year later, analyzed the diets and blood-cholesterol data for more than 27,000 people—a representative cross-section of the U.S. population. It found that cholesterol was lower in people who ate more than four eggs per week than among people who eschewed eggs.

  • Christo Okulian

    hi doctor,

    does the “cholesterol increase” effect can be happened if I eat the free-ranch egg. coz i prepare 6 free-ranch eggs a week for emergency meal if I dont have much time to cook any healthy vegan’s food. =)

  • Rusti T Hauge

    I’m new to this site and I have to say, I’m impressed and a bit overwhelmed. I have an egg/cholesterol question, but please bear with me as I go into a bit of exposition about my story.

    I’m a physician (psychiatrist) which means I received virtually no formal nutrition education. I have been a strong proponent of exercise for some time after I realized that I had gained 50# and my BMI exceeded 30 at age 29 in residency. Over the years I brought my BMI to just below 24 primarily by exercising moderately to intensely for an hour 6 times a week. My diet had not been bad by American standards. I would have a modest meat serving a day or so, eat 4-5 serving s of fruits/vegetables most days, eat breads/pastas/rice/cereals fairly frequently, eat fish a couple times a week. I have been addicted to diet cola since age 15 seeing the transition from saccharine to NutraSweet.

    I finally decided 3 weeks ago to stop diet colas and switched to a cup of morning coffee. This (and concerns about my parents’ health) led me to realizing I was clueless about health and diet and sent me searching for continuing education. I ran into and subsequently Dr. Greger’s lectures. At first, I was a bit annoyed thinking he was just proselytizing vegan. I even gave a rating of “somewhat biased” on the CME feedback. I found this sit though and have just been wowed.

    I’ve changed my diet to include daily greens/beans/nuts/berries. I’ve added regular citrus, apples and prunes and an evening glass of green/white tea (tonight with a bit of honey, cinnamon, cloves and lemon…not bad!) I still tend to have a serving of cottage cheese during lunch and sardines a couple times a week and boiled eggs a couple times a week.

    Here is my question. Is an entirely vegan diet necessary for optimal health if my labs physical health seem to be good?

    I had my yearly physical right before making any dietary changes. My cholesterol levels were as follows:

    LDL 79
    HDL 95
    VLDL 18

    This has been consistent over the last 6 years at least. This is not because of “good genes” as obesity runs on both sides of the family and heart disease strongly on my fathers. I’m a bit reluctant to abandon eggs and fish altogether if my labs are looking good and I’m in good health. I am willing to try reducing animal product consumption to under 20% of caloric intake as a start. I have noticed a 3-4 pound weight loss over the week of dietary changes (which I assume is due to water or fecal loss.)

    Anyways, this is an overly long monologue, but I’m not convinced that eating free range organic eggs is poison. I guess cognitive dissonance dies slowly. I would welcome feedback from anyone. Thanks.


    Pasture eggs are totally different…and cholesterol is our main hormone producing substance and is an antioxidant…so this seems to be very misleading and a poorly facilitated study

  • Anthony

    Does it come from the yolk or the entire egg. Ive noticed lots of vegetarian foods like veggie burgers have egg whites in them. Whats the deal?

  • British Egg Board

    My grandmother smoked 60 ciggarettes a day, without a filter, and ate 20 raw eggs a day. She lived until she was 28. What are these so-called experts talking about!

  • Uncensored

    Cholesterol is good for you. Sugars are the real culprit

  • marben

    Even though I don’t eat eggs because of moral & ethical reasons, it looks to me like this study was done just eating egg yolks. I’m wondering what the research would have looked like eating whole, organic, pasture raised eggs. Or even any eggs for that matter. I normally think that eating whole food sources & not just a part of it is better (ie, eating a whole egg vs only egg yolks or egg whites).

  • Clara Kelly

    I would be interested to know if the elevated cholesterol of those who ate the “one egg a day” was in individuals who were meat eaters also. Would the higher cholesterol level of a single egg be as deleterious for a vegetarian, nearly vegan person as for those who regularly eat meat?

    • Don Forrester MD

      As shown from the graphs presented by Dr. Greger the more eggs you eat the higher your risk. Whether you’re talking about risk of strokes or heart attacks or getting a food borne illness such as salmonella see… Unfortunately the decision to avoid certain foods often needs to be made well in advance of the problems they may or may not cause. My preference and my recommendations to my patients, in an effort to have them avoid chronic disease and disability, is to minimize risk as much as possible by not consuming eggs.

  • Southlander

    It appears as if these phantom doctors (Dr. Doctor) are also loose in the meat and dairy industries.

    TERRI, MARY, JC, EGGFAN and others, there are ALWAYS EXCEPTIONS to any medical study; not many though, but that does not negate the information in the post and video.

    Life styles, physical make-up and genes play an extremely important part in our mental and physical well being. Don and I CAN! :-))

  • Deborah Gant

    Deborah Gant Producer & Host of Focus on Natural Health Education & Community Development Inc. on Channel 18 PEG-TV. We should work on discarding all flesh products and bi-products from our diets. There are various diseases in all flesh meats, including all dairy products such as eggs, cows or goat milk, cheese etc. Please feel free to contact me at 601)278-1868 for further information.

  • Markus

    Hmm, this study stinks!

    “So what are we looking at here?

    We’re looking at a study in which a trio of researchers (two of whom with extensive ties to the statin industry) quizzed a group of middle-aged and elderly stroke patients about their lifelong egg intake and smoking history, making sure to stress the importance of accuracy and honesty in their answers. Yes, you heard me right: they expected people to remember every last egg they ever ate. Still, everyone in the study was assumed to have supernatural memory, so I guess it evens out.

    Those who ate the most eggs were the oldest – almost 70 years old on
    average, compared to the relatively sprightly 55 year-old egg avoiders.
    It’s pretty well accepted that with age comes the progression of atherosclerosis,
    a process that takes, well, time to occur. Plaque doesn’t just snap
    into existence; it develops. All else being equal, the older you get,
    the more plaque you’ll have.

    Those who ate the most eggs also smoked the most and were the most
    diabetic. To their credit, the authors tried to control for those
    factors, plus several others. Although they tried to control for sex,
    blood lipids, blood pressure, smoking, body weight index, and presence
    of diabetes, the study’s authors didn’t – couldn’t – account for all
    potentially confounding variables. In their own words,
    “more research should be done to take in possible confounders such as
    exercise and waist circumference.” Hmm. “Possible” confounders, eh?”

    Read more:

  • Kar

    Anyone who seeks information on nutrition and health topics, opens a
    site on the internet and finds an expert who speaks .Just like in here.
    But there are many other sites on the internet in which, other doctors
    and experts speak often about the SAME topic but take the exact opposite
    position.On the one hand you have(for instance here) Dr.Gregger talking
    about eggs being very bad for your health and on the other hand you
    have another doctorexpertscientist ,assurring you that eggs are GREAT
    for you. They are both doctors,experts, and they both refer to STUDIES
    to support what they say. WHAT on EARTH should you believe?
    have 2 doctors,2 experts,1 topic and 2 contadictory positions.I don`t
    care who is who and obviously this is not a matter of preference “whom
    to believe“ ,as it is in the case of “which football team to
    support“ ,but the above simple fact may make it difficult to decide
    what to do. ( specifically about eggs,I`ve seen at least 3 doctors
    speaking in favor of eggs, on you tube .It`d be useful to listen to each
    other`s take on the arguements of the other. )
    Maybe we could play
    the game “fact or fiction“ or put the names of the contradicting
    experts on a graph .Kidding of course :D .
    I`d like to read any commentsanswers on how to handle this dilemma and information.Thanks.

  • Mr. Bean

    This page if filled up with Vegan Freaks. Eating crap is so healthy, especially horse crap.