Good And the Bad of Egg – By Dr Harold Gunatillake

Good And the Bad of Egg – By Dr Harold Gunatillake

Dr Harold Gunatillake

Eggs are healthy and have beneficial effects for human consumption. An egg has the ingredients within and the potential to give life. It has the highest anabolic effect compared to any other form of food, including the highly-rated veggies. Anabolic means promoting anabolism or biosynthesis – the biochemical reaction that constructs molecules from smaller components. For instance, the ingredients within the egg can turn into muscle protein or other
proteins. 48% of the nutrients within turn into body tissue. On the contrary, meat, fish and chicken produce 32% only converting into body tissue like the muscles.

In short, there is no other dietary food that has the ingredients that convert, having so much as 48% converting into body tissue.

So, eggs are very efficient in turning into body tissue

Eggs are very high in nutrients and vitamins like B vitamins, choline, and healthy fats like EPA DHA and omega 3, carotenoids except for water-soluble vitamin C.

Macular degeneration is quite a severe eye condition most Sri Lankans get in their old age. Out of the foods and supplements for macular degeneration, eggs are outstanding.

Eggs have lots of vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D, Lutein, Zeaxanthin and zinc given for macular degeneration.

Egg yolk is a good source of biotin. The whole egg contains up to 10 mcg. Eggs are rich in amino acids- lysine, cysteine, aspartic acid, tyrosine, valine, leucine arginine and glutamine. They’re vital for functions throughout your body, including protein synthesis, tissue repair,
Website: and nutrient absorption. Some may also help prevent muscle loss, support recovery after surgery, and improve mood, sleep, and athletic performance.

To maximise biotin intake and ensure safety, always cook eggs before eating them. It is advisable to consume eggs daily to prevent AMD.

Choline in eggs prevents fatty liver and is suitable for the nervous system. Choline is required to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in regulating memory, mood and intelligence ( 33 ). It’s also needed for the process of synthesising DNA, which is essential for brain function and development.

Eggs are a part of a healthy diet. As part of a balanced diet, eggs contribute to a healthy digestive tract and can be helpful during acute digestive problems. In addition to being packed with nutrients, eggs are usually easy to digest compared to some other high-protein foods, such as meat and legumes.

The myth that cholesterol in eggs increases blood cholesterol, there is absolutely no data to prove that egg cholesterol increases lousy cholesterol LDL in your blood; in fact, it increases your good cholesterol HDL.

Recent observational studies have found that having eggs may not elevate your risk of heart disease or other risk factors, like inflammation, stiffening of the arteries, and increased blood cholesterol levels.

One small randomised control trial found that when compared with an egg-free high carb breakfast, eating two eggs or a 1/2 cup of liquid eggs for breakfast had no significant effects on the blood cholesterol levels.

Randomised controlled trials in people with diabetes have found that eating 6–12 eggs per week didn’t negatively impact total blood cholesterol levels or heart disease risk factors.

Instead, it increased HDL cholesterol. However, genetic factors and family histories can influence blood cholesterol levels after eating many eggs.

If your diet is relatively low in cholesterol, you may consider having more eggs. However, if your diet is higher in cholesterol, it is advised to limit your egg intake.

For a healthy adult with a normal cholesterol range and no significant underlying risk of heart disease, some research suggests that having 1–2 eggs per day can be safe. It may even be healthy and beneficial for your heart health.

One study of around 200,000 U.S. veterans linked eating just one egg per day with a slightly increased risk of heart attacks. The impact was most substantial in those with diabetes or obesity, suggesting that overall health influences the number of eggs that are safe to eat.

Regardless of egg intake, heart disease increases as you age due to specific changes like fat buildup and stiffening of the arteries. Therefore, it’s essential to consider your overall health status when deciding about the quantities of eggs that are safe to eat.

If you have high LDL cholesterol levels, are overweight or obese, have a disease like diabetes, or have a family history of heart disease, it might be best to consume only one egg a day or 4 to 5 eggs weekly.

Is it better to eat only egg whites?

On average, one large egg consists of around 200 mg of cholesterol. The cholesterol is mainly concentrated in the yolk. Therefore, some people eat only egg whites to lower their cholesterol while still taking an excellent lean protein source.

But yolk is also packed with iron, vitamin D, carotenoids, and more. There isn’t much study to support eating only egg whites in healthy individuals. In fact, by missing the yolk, you might miss out on many health benefits eggs offer.
Eggs and the gut microbiome

An emerging area of science is exploring the link between egg consumption and the microbes living within our gut. Some nutrients we eat are digested and absorbed in the small intestine, while others are delivered to the colon, where microbes convert them into compounds that impact human health.

An emerging risk factor for heart disease is a compound called trimethylamine-n-oxide or TMAO. Studies have shown that people with the highest blood levels of TMAO have a 62% increased risk of heart attack or stroke than those with the lowest levels of TMAO.

Trimethylamine produced in your gut microbes before being transported to the liver is converted into trimethylamine-n-oxide TMAO.

TMAO in the blood originates from the microbiome. Some microbes can convert choline and carnitine into a compound called TMA, or trimethylamine. This is then absorbed and restored in the liver to TMAO.

Eggs are the richest dietary source of choline. Until recently, if someone’s microbiome contained lots of microbes with the capacity to produce TMA, they were advised to limit their consumption of eggs. However, numerous research studies have confirmed that egg consumption does not lead to increased blood levels of TMAO3.

Bad effects of eggs The fat and cholesterol found in eggs can harm heart health and lead to diabetes and prostate
and colorectal cancers.

About 60% of the calories in eggs are from fat—much of which is saturated fat. Eggs are also loaded with cholesterol—about 200 milligrams for an average-sized egg. That’s more than double the amount in a Big Mac. Fat and cholesterol contribute to heart disease.

A 2021 study found that the addition of half an egg per day was associated with more deaths from heart disease, cancer, and all causes. For every 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol consumed per day, mortality risk increased 24%. A study published in JAMA found that each 300-milligram dose of dietary cholesterol was associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality by 17% and 18%, respectively. When it came to eggs, each half egg caused a 6% and 8% increased risk, respectively. A study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology found that those who eat the most eggs have a 19% higher risk for cardiovascular problems.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, consuming one or more eggs per day may increase the risk of diabetes by 60%. Researchers compared egg consumption with blood glucose levels in more than 8,000 participants from the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Those who habitually consumed the most eggs increased their risk for diabetes compared to those who ate the fewest eggs.

So, viewers, you will wonder whether eggs are good for your health.

It is debatable, and still no conclusive evidence either way.

It is safe to eat one egg a day and not get into health issues.

Stay safe, and goodbye for now.


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