Eggs more than one per week raise the risk of diabetes

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

President, Heart Care Foundation of India


The advertisement in Indian TV “Sunday ho ya Monday, Roj Khao Ande” needs a revision as it is not based on scientific facts.

A new study has shown that people who eat eggs every day may substantially increase their risk of type 2 diabetes. India is already the diabetic capital of the world and continuing promotion of eating eggs every day will add to the burden.

In the study men with the highest level of egg consumption, seven or more per week, were 58% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not eat eggs, and women were 77% more likely to become diabetic if they ate at least an egg a day.

The study done by Dr Luc Djoussé of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard is published in the Journal Diabetes Care.

Other salient features

1. Levels of egg intake above one a week incrementally increased diabetes risk in both men and women

2. Eggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol (about 200 mg per egg)

3. Eggs add about 1.5 g of saturated fat each to the diet

4. Eggs may influence glucose metabolism primarily through their effect on cholesterol

5. Each egg also contributes about 0.7 g of polyunsaturated fat, which neutralize the risk to some extent only.

6. The average one-egg-a-week consumption was not associated with increased diabetes risk.

The study included 20,703 male doctors without baseline diabetes from the Physicians’ Health Study I (1982-2007) and 36,295 similarly diabetes-free female health professionals from the Women’s Health Study (1992-2007). Over a mean follow-up of 20.0 years in men and 11.7 years in women, 1,921 men and 2,112 women developed type 2 diabetes. Diabetes was more common in men and women who reported eating more than the average one egg a week.