Ask the Pharmacist: Surprise! Eggs reduce stroke risk

Suzy Cohen

For years, folks have been afraid of eggs, and how they are “bad” for cholesterol and LDL.  Long gone are the days where people drank them raw like Sylvester Stallone did in Rocky … and no I don’t recommend you do that! Rocky did that to build muscle mass, but so you know, the practice of eating raw eggs is about 120 years old. Today, some body builders use the liquid egg whites, to avoid salmonella contamination. 

Today’s focus is on eggs and whether they raise risk of heart disease or stroke. The rationale is that eggs are high in cholesterol, and hypercholesterolemia increases stroke. So, let’s explore that today, and see what the research claims.

One hard-boiled egg contains 187 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol. One scrambled egg has about 169 mg natural cholesterol.

Data accumulated from epidemiological studies suggests an inverse relationship; meaning the more eggs you eat the higher your risk for stroke. However, the evidence of the relationship is quite limited, and has not deterred me from eating them. Millions of people have however, are running scared from the egg. 

There is brand new research out, and it was just published in the May 16 issue of The Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The aim of the study was to determine the association of eggs (and cholesterol intake) with risk of stroke. It was conducted in 1,950 middle-aged men from Finland. Neither egg consumption, nor cholesterol intake was associated with stroke incidence. The gene that influences cholesterol metabolism (ApoE4) was accounted for. The lack of an association between eggs and stroke is great news for egg lovers!

There was a meta-analysis published in 2016, in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Scientists poured through seven different studies and compiled the statistics. Their findings while not a surprise to me but came as a shock to others. Let me just quote right out of the STUDY so you can interpret it as you wish: Based on the results of this meta-analysis, consumption of up to one egg daily may contribute to a decreased risk of total stroke, and daily egg intake does not appear to be associated with risk of CHD.

In other words, the data reveals that eggs might lower risk of stroke, not raise them like everyone is telling you! I’m 54 at the time of this writing and so I can hear Sergeant Gomer Pyle in my head saying “Surprise, surprise!” 

What’s so important here, and one of the messages that I am trying to give you is to stop worrying so much about food. I think there is so much mental chatter going on in the heads of Americans. Eat this, and not that, this here is bad for you, bread might kill you, there’s caffeine in this, gluten in that, lactose in this and sugar in that! Just enjoy real food, eat wisely, avoid all chemicals and refined foods… and unless you are vegan, go ahead and eat the eggs! 

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit