Study that sought to disparage health of eggs was authored by scientists with financial ties to Big Pharma

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) Do you remember recent reports about a
supposedly unbiased scientific study that concluded that eggs, in actuality, are
not good for you?

If your so-called “BS meter” suddenly pegged, you had
good reason to be skeptical. Turns out the scientists who conducted the study
have ties to Big Pharma.

First, a little recap.

Writing in the
journal Atherosclerosis, researchers lumped the consumption of egg yolks
with smoking, saying in essence that one was just as bad as the other in
clogging your arteries.

Dr. J. David Spence, a professor of neurology at
Western University in Canada, wrote that he and his team found a
relationship between the consumption of egg yolks and the development of
atherosclerosis, a condition in which arteries become clogged, causing a range
of health problems, the most prominent of which are heart attack and stroke. In
atherosclerosis, plaque accumulates over time along the walls of arteries,
narrowing them.

The team surveyed 1,231 middle-aged male and female
patients who had been referred to a vascular clinic at the London Health
Sciences Center’s University Hospital
after they had suffered a
“mini-stroke” or a regular stroke.

Spence’s team examined the patients’
carotid wall thickness then compared it with answers about egg yolk consumption,
exercise habits, smoking and other lifestyle factors. In the end, Spence and his
team concluded that the top 20 percent of egg consumers had narrowing of the
carotid artery that was two-thirds that of smokers.

Bogus
methodology?

Spence admitted that it did not have data to look at
overall dietary patterns, and that, say other experts, is part of the
problem.

Spence’s entire research seems to be predicated on a single
questionnaire in which the patients examined were asked about “their lifestyle
and medications, including pack-years of smoking, and the number of egg yolks
consumed per week times the number of years consumed (egg-yolk
years).”

Further, according to paleolithic health guru Mark Sisson, study methodology that is
dependent upon the subject’s memory, honesty and accuracy is, by definition,
unreliable.

“Moreover, since it’s a single data point, no causality can
be ascribed,” adds a critique of the study by the Alliance for Natural
Health
.

“This study does not address other dietary factors known to
influence cardiovascular risk, such as saturated and trans fat, or dietary
fiber,” Dr. David J. Gordon, a special assistant for clinical studies at the
Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart Blood and Lung
Institute
, told Huffington Post.

Funded by Big
Pharma

Furthermore, the study’s authors admitted to conflicts of
interest when performing a similar study two years ago, the ANH pointed out. In
a special “Conflicts of Interest” section posted at the end of the study, which was published in The Canadian Journal of
Cardiology
, while Spence and his team “receives funding from the purveyors
of margarine or eggs,” Spence, along with fellow team member Dr. Jean Davignon,
“have received honoraria and speaker’s fees from several pharmaceutical
companies manufacturing lipid-lowering drugs.” In addition, Davignon “has
received support from Pfizer Canada for an annual atherosclerosis symposium; his
research has been funded in part by Pfizer Canada, AstraZeneca Canada Inc and
Merck Frosst Canada Ltd.,” the disclosure said.

The ANH said it smells a
rat.

“See how this works? Big Pharma has a vested interest in selling
drugs to lower cholesterol,” the group said in its critique. “Big Pharma funds
research that says our favorite breakfast food causes high cholesterol (which is
not true). The idea is to give people…a false choice: change a lifelong
dietary habit, or pop a pill. Big Pharma thinks they know which choice most
people will make.”

Full disclosure: A number of physicians and the Mayo
Clinic believe egg yolks can be harmful, if eaten in excess. And at least one
study – detailed here – found that eggs are lower in cholesterol
(while higher in vitamin D) than originally
thought.

Sources:

http://www.anh-usa.org

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

www.atherosclerosis-journal.com

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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