Researchers from Harvard University, the University of Eastern Finland, and Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health conducted a recent study which showed that high egg intake may raise the risk for type 2 diabetes. The interesting part of the study’s findings is this risk only applied to those living in the United States.
The study set out to follow up on links between egg consumption and type 2 diabetes. The study found eggs were found to be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes development in the US only.
What is the Link Between Eggs and Type 2 Diabetes?
The researchers studied results from 10 separate population-based studies from around the world which covered a total of about 250,000 people. Four of the 10 studies were done in the US, one in Japan, and the remainder in Europe. During the follow up for the study, 12,000 developed type 2 diabetes.
A meta-analysis of prior studies and their data show that each egg included in the daily diet raises the risk of type 2 diabetes by 13% but the data also showed a varied risk between the different countries, with the US showing the majority of the increased risk.
Researchers looked over the data and did not find any link between eating eggs and type 2 diabetes risk. They also studied the seven most high-grade studies which used data from medical registers versus self reporting data and found no link between eggs and diabetes. The three studies they didn’t conduct a high grade analysis of were conducted in the US.
Why Only in the US?
Without a straightforward reason for the US egg and diabetes link researchers theorized that the findings may have to do with factors not related to eating eggs aside from the association that people who eat eggs participate in unhealthy habits like leading a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and consuming high amounts of processed meats.
Researchers suggested that there were potential issue with the way the US studies were gathered and concluded that, “We found evidence that results may be driven in part by studies conducted in the USA and by studies of a lower quality,”
To combat this study’s findings, other recent studies have been conducted showing a positive association between eggs and diabetes–that they lower type 2 diabetes risk.
The major risk factors for type 2 diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association include:
• Being overweight
• Having high blood sugar
• A history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
• High blood pressure
• Unhealthy cholesterol
• Lack of physical activity
• Unhealthy diet
• Age, race, gender, and family history
Sysy Morales has lived with type 1 diabetes for 21 years. She works as a writer and health coach at The Girls Guide to Diabetes for people with diabetes and is a regular motivational speaker. Sysy lives in Roanoke, Virginia with her husband and 6 year old twins.
James Achanyi-Fontem, is a Senior Health Journalist and Communication Consultant. He worked as a health journalist and broadcaster for 30 years with Radio Cameroon and later Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV before retiring in 2005 to engage fully with Cameroon Link (Human Assistance Programme). Cameroon Link is a registered charity, not-for-profit organisation involved in the promotion of community health, humanitarian assistance, promotion of women and child rights through involvement of communities in Cameroon for mother and child health care. Cameroon Link is a partner to Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Farm Radio International (FRI), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN Africa), World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). As the intermediary of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Cameroon Link is engaged to implement a Cameroon Rural Radio story design Programming through an investigative research, which aims to discover through interviewing beneficiaries of health programmes on their interests, documenting and disseminating new ideas about how radio stations produce and air Healthy Communities Radio Programs in Cameroon.