Although eggs have been marketed for decades as a healthy source of protein, consumption has been linked to many significant harms. In fact, Freedom of Information Act documents reveal that the U.S. Department of Agriculture warned the egg industry that saying eggs are nutritious or safe may violate rules against false and misleading advertising.

Eggs and Salmonella Bacteria

Salmonella bacteria are a leading cause of food poisoning-related hospitalizations and the top cause of food poisoning-related death. Within 12 to 72 hours after infection, the most common symptoms may appear—fever, diarrhea, and severe abdominal cramps. The illness typically lasts four to seven days, but among children and the elderly, the disease can be severe enough to require hospitalization—or funeral arrangements.

Many associate Salmonella with eggs—for good reason. In 2010, for instance, more than half a billion eggs were recalled due to Salmonella outbreaks. Salmonella in eggs may survive scrambled, over-easy, and sunny-side-up cooking methods, as well as in cooked omelets and french toast, and perhaps even in eggs boiled up to eight minutes.

High in Cholesterol, Higher Health Risks

Salmonella concerns aside, a single egg has 207 milligrams of cholesterol on average and some experts suggest that eating even one egg a day may exceed the safe upper limit for cholesterol intake in terms of cardiovascular disease risk. Dietary cholesterol may also contribute to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cholesterol consumption was found to be a strong predictor of cirrhosis and liver cancer. After a meal that includes eggs, triglycerides and blood cholesterol shoot up. Those consuming the amount of cholesterol found in two Egg McMuffins or more each day appeared to double their risk of hospitalization or death. It’s no wonder the Dietary Guidelines of Americans mirror the National Academies of Science recommendation to consume as little cholesterol as possible.

Increasing Risks of Prostate Cancer

Compared with men who rarely eat eggs, men eating even less than one egg a day appear to have twice the risk of prostate cancer progression. And men who consume two and a half or more eggs per week—basically an egg every three days—may have an 81 percent increased risk of dying from prostate cancer.

Other Cancers

Egg consumption has also been associated with cancers of the bladder and breast.

The Choline in Eggs

How could eating less than an egg a day have such potential impact on cancer risk? The answer may be choline, a compound found concentrated in eggs. The choline in eggs, like the carnitine in red meat, is converted into a toxin called trimethylamine by bacteria existing in meat-eaters’ guts. Trimethylamine, once oxidized in the liver, appears to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and premature death.

Eggs and Diabetes

Eating just a single egg a week appeared to increase the odds of diabetes by 76 percent. Two eggs a week appeared to double the odds, and just a single egg a day tripled the odds. Once we then have diabetes, eggs may hasten our death. Eating one egg or more a day appears to shorten anyone’s lifespan, but it may double the all-cause mortality for those with diabetes.

For substantiation of any statements of fact from the peer-reviewed medical literature, please see the associated videos below.

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