Warning: Excess Consumption of Eggs Linked to Diabetes

Two Boiled Eggs

Eat one or more eggs per day and your risk of diabetes increases by 60 percent. Credit: Myruams-Fotos

Scrambled, poached, or boiled, eggs are a popular breakfast food the world over. Yet the health benefits of the humble egg might not be all they’re cracked up to be as new research from the University of South Australia shows that excess egg consumption can increase your risk of diabetes.

Conducted in partnership with the China Medical University, and Qatar University, the longitudinal study (1991 to 2009) is the first to assess egg consumption in a large sample of Chinese adults.

It found that people who regularly consumed one or more eggs per day (equivalent to 50 grams) increased their risk of diabetes by 60 percent.

With the prevalence of diabetes in China now exceeding 11 percent — above that of the global average of 8.5 percent — diabetes has become a serious public health concern.

The economic impact of diabetes is also significant, accounting for 10 percent of global health expenditure (USD $760 billion). In China, diabetes-related costs have exceeded USD $109 billion.

Epidemiologist and public health expert, UniSA’s Dr. Ming Li, says the rise of diabetes is a growing concern, especially in China where changes to the traditional Chinese diet are impacting health.

“Diet is a known and modifiable factor that contributes to the onset of Type 2 diabetes, so understanding the range of dietary factors that might impact the growing prevalence of the disease is important,” Dr. Li says.

“Over the past few decades, China has undergone a substantial nutritional transition that’s seen many people move away from a traditional diet comprising grains and vegetables, to a more processed diet that includes greater amounts of meat, snacks and energy-dense food.

“At the same time, egg consumption has also been steadily increasing; from 1991 to 2009, the number of people eating eggs in China nearly doubled.

“While the association between eating eggs and diabetes is often debated, this study has aimed to assess people’s long-term egg consumption of eggs and their risk of developing diabetes, as determined by fasting blood glucose.

“What we discovered was that higher long-term egg consumption (greater than 38 grams per day) increased the risk of diabetes among Chinese adults by approximately 25 percent.

“Furthermore, adults who regularly ate a lot of eggs (over 50 grams, or equivalent to one egg, per day) had an increased risk of diabetes by 60 percent.”

The effect was also more pronounced in women than in men.

Dr. Li says that while these results suggest that higher egg consumption is positively associated with the risk of diabetes in Chinese adults, more research is needed to explore causal relationships.

“To beat diabetes, a multi-faceted approach is needed that not only encompasses research, but also a clear set of guidelines to help inform and guide the public. This study is one step towards that long-term goal.”

Reference: “Higher egg consumption associated with increased risk of diabetes in Chinese adults – China Health and Nutrition Survey” by Yue Wang, Ming Li and Zumin Shi, 8 October 2020, British Journal of Nutrition.
DOI: 10.1017/S0007114520003955

8 Comments on "Warning: Excess Consumption of Eggs Linked to Diabetes"

  1. Chicken stocks just dropped.

  2. Diana Richell McKnight | November 17, 2020 at 5:35 am | Reply

    You people need to stop spreading false information! It’s a WELL PROVEN FACT that what causes type 2 diabetes is HIGH INSULIN LEVELS caused by GRAINS, SUGARS AND CARBS!!! And eggs are .5 carbs, lovely essential fat and protein! So, NO, they don’t cause diabetes!!! Go read The Obesity Code by Dr.Jason Fung! I have been low carb, keto, and occasionally carnivore for over 3 years now, and it saved my life! I was an unmedicated type 2 diabetic, medicated for high blood pressure with a beta blocker and diuretics and had chronic inflammation and pain that doctors told me was fibromyalgia and arthritis- I did Whole 30 with no fruit, and dropped my fasting glucose from 125+ to 80 in the first 4 days and woke up pain free by day 5, and dropped my A1c from 6.3 to 5.3 the first 3 months! I was off ALL medications the first few months! I have listened to DOZENS of HIGHLY RESPECTED doctors who teach in depth on this, Dr.Fung, Dr.Ken Berry, Dr.Eric Berg, Dr Westman, Dr Zerbrowski, Dr Sten Ekberg, and MANY others- eggs are one of the most PERFECT foods on the planet! Not only do I personally consume high quantities, all of the people that follow low carb lifestyles of any kind, including all these doctors, do too!

    • Science doesn’t care about your anecdote.

      That being said, the article and study say there is a correlation, not causation. They need to follow up with new studies to try to determine why consuming more eggs is linked to a higher risk for diabetes.

  3. Not “linked to,” but rather “sometimes associated with,” that is a very big distinction which should be properly understood, and accepted.

  4. I wonder sometimes when they do these studies, if they are actually ‘real-world’; if the researchers consider the consumption of the ‘focused’ product as it relates to the appetite it may create for other peripheral food items. Maybe egg-eating predisposes consumers to crave sugar. It also may be the other way around, as well.

  5. 2 1/2 EGGS per week increases risk of prostate cancer by 81%
    (14 year study of 27,607 men)

    3 EGGS per week in linked with early death from heart disease and stroke
    (17.5 year study of 29,000 people)

    EGGS are about two thirds as bad as smoking
    (study of 1,262 people)

  6. Unfortunately, eggs ain’t eggs. It all depends on what the hens feed on as to how healthy their eggs will be for us. In the wild they have a varied diet that includes insects and various seeds. In captivity they are fed primarily grains. They become what they eat. We become what they ate, and that is sick in the case of grain fed animals. I suspect no attention was paid to this fact in researching the effect of eggs on illness.

  7. Mamooda da Figa | December 25, 2023 at 2:52 am | Reply

    Well, it’s chinese study and chinese eggs. China is notorious for different food scams and toxic additivies. It won’t surprise me if on farms chicken eat some cancerous additivies and it’s content accumulated in eggs.

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