Is Eating Eggs Really as Bad for Your Heart as Smoking?

A new study suggests that eating three whole eggs a week can thicken the arteries as much as smoking. Some heart experts say not so fast

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Is your breakfast omelet harming your heart? A recent study by researchers at Western University in Canada found that the more egg yolks people ate, the thicker their artery walls became — an indicator of heart disease risk — and that the effect was almost as bad as from smoking cigarettes.

In the study, the researchers measured carotid plaque build-up in the arteries of 1,231 men and women, average age 62, who were seeking care at cardiovascular-health clinics. Participants filled out questionnaires detailing lifestyle habits including medication use, cigarette smoking and egg-yolk consumption. The researchers gauged how much people smoked and how many egg yolks they ate over time, by calculating their “pack-years” (the number of packs of cigarettes people smoked per day multiplied by the number of years they spent smoking) and “egg-yolk years” (how many egg yolks they ate per week for how many years).

After about age 40, participants’ plaque began building up steadily, but among the participants who ate the most eggs — three or more yolks per week — that build-up increased “exponentially,” the study found. As people’s egg-yolk years went up, so did their plaque accumulation — an association that was independent of factors like gender, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking, body mass index and diabetes.

(MORE: Good News, Kids Cholesterol Levels Are Down)

Among the 20% of participants who ate the most eggs, the carotid plaque build-up was about two-thirds that of the study’s heaviest smokers. The researchers concluded that the plaque increase from eating eggs “follows a similar pattern to that of cigarette smoking.”

Arterial accumulation of plaque is a key risk factor for heart attack and stroke. As plaque builds up, it thickens artery walls and narrows the space through which blood can flow, forcing the heart to pump harder. If plaques become unstable, they can break off and form clots, which can halt blood flow to either the brain or the heart, causing stroke or heart attack.

The authors argue that their findings should quell doubts over the link between high dietary cholesterol and heart disease. “The prevailing tendency to ignore dietary cholesterol as a risk factor for coronary heart disease requires reassessment, including the consumption of cholesterol from eggs,” the authors wrote.

The government’s dietary guidelines recommend that adults consume no more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day. One whole egg contains about 180 mg of cholesterol, nearly two-thirds of your daily recommended ma.

“The mantra ‘eggs can be part of a healthy diet for healthy people’ has confused the issue. It has been known for a long time that a high cholesterol intake increases the risk of cardiovascular events, and egg yolks have a very high cholesterol content,” study author Dr. David Spence, a professor of neurology at western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, said in a statement. “In diabetics, an egg a day increases coronary risk by two- to five-fold.

(MORE: The Four Foods that Lower Your Cholesterol)

However, the study’s findings raised brows among other health experts, ABC News reports:

[C]ardiologists say the study shouldn’t be taken so seriously because the research is flawed.

“This is very poor quality research that should not influence patient’s dietary choices,” said Dr. Steven Nissen, who chairs the department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in an email. “It is extremely important to understand the differences between ‘association’ and ‘causation’.”

Nissen said the researchers relied on patients to recall how many eggs they consumed, but asked them once and assumed it remained constant, which isn’t reliable. He said the way researchers measured patients’ plaque has come under “considerable criticism,” and that researchers failed to adjust for other dietary factors.

Indeed, it’s possible that the people who ate a lot of eggs also tended to eat a lot of other high-fat, high-salt or high-cholesterol foods. Or maybe they also tended to exercise less.

The researchers say that while further studies are needed to flesh out the association, people at risk for heart disease should still refrain from eating egg yolks on a regular basis.

The study is published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

MORE: NYC’s Trans Fat Ban Worked: Fast-Food Diners Are Eating Healthier

69 comments
JonnyMRX
JonnyMRX

I eat 70-80  whole eggs a week ,my cholesterol levels are low and no,people eating a lot of eggs don`t eat bacon ,exercise requires eggs...

srieyaone
srieyaone

Egg Yolks are as bad as Smokingfor more information

http://www.trendsor.blogspot.in/2012/12/egg-yolks-are-as-bad-as-smoking.html

It is known to everyone that smoking is very bad to heart and lungs and hence lead to coronary heart disease. Similarly, researchers are saying that eating egg yolk is very bad to heart that leads to a disease called coronary artery disease. A research was done on 1200 patients who eat egg yolk daily and they found that two-third of the... -

rbreau1
rbreau1

The "study" should not be called a study, it is a survey with no merit.  How were the eggs cooked?   Deep fried in bacon fat? Vegetable oil or were they cooked in water?  What else is part of the daily diet?   Lots of meat, any fish?   How much red wine do you usually consume in a week?   How much fish?   

sam_brit10
sam_brit10

All I know is, I've always had a problem with my cholesterol numbers, usually hovering around 240 ... I went low carb and ate lots of red meat, eggs, cheese, and almonds while avoiding starches and sugars ... next test I was at 180 with an HDL of 85, meaning my LDL cholesterol was only slightly higher than my HDL, a ration of about 60/40. OK, this is only anecdotal, but it convinced me that carbs are the culprit. (When I eased off on the low carbs, the numbers slid back towards where they had been.) That said, I don't know that my cholesterol counts have that much to do with potential heart disease. I'm more inclined to believe the more recent theories that posit that things like stress (which I handle poorly) cause inflammation in the arteries which in turn causes the plaque to cling more readily. So many variables! And the rules keep changing! I'm more in favor of just watching my sugars and enjoying my meals.

The Healthy Press
The Healthy Press

Curious as to what percentage of people who claim to eat egg yokes also have high casein protein diets such as red meat and milk??

Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller

I can say this.  The more eggs a person eats, then probably the more bacon they eat. And along with that, the more butter they consume.  Could it be that the exponential effects come from the fact that people who are eating eggs for breakfast routinely add bacon, sausage, buttery toast and possibly other things as well?

michaelmont2000
michaelmont2000

Question? Did they ever consider; even once! That adding exercise, taking vitamines, minerals and using organic eggs, might change the outcome? I wonder what the FDA paid them do do this study! Unbelievable!

michaelmont2000
michaelmont2000

Question? Did they ever consider; even once! That adding exercise, taking vitamines, minerals and using organic eggs, might change the outcome? I wonder what the FDA paid them do do this study! Unbelievable!

Yeshuratnam
Yeshuratnam

You just can't blame eggs alone. Many people live long by eating eggs. Researchers should visit a heart hospital and find out the causes for the death of patients. Most patients would have died for other reasons-- not for eating omelets.

Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

Women lead but the economy is still lagging the

footing For millions of women around the world cooking the family meal is a

daily, dangerous chore. Sweating over smoky open stoves, they put their lives

and their children at risk every day. More

than three billion people, or 40 per cent of the planet's population, still

rely on open fires to cook, balancing a pot on top of some stones, under which

burns a fire fuelled by wood and coal, dung or left-over crops. The World Health Origination estimates that reliance on solid fuels is one of the 10

most important threats to public health. Some two million people die each year

from the effects of smoke inhalation, mainly children under the age of five who

fall prey to respiratory illness such as pneumonia. Environmental damage is huge as

forests are depleted and black carbon from inefficient fires counts for upwards

of 25 per cent of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, while homes

become coated in black grease. Now a global alliance, set up under the auspices

of the US State Department and the United Nations, is working

towards a goal of supplying 100 million clean cook stoves by 2020. "Half of the world is cooking

this way and it's kind of hard to believe we never thought this through

before," said Kris Balderston, whose office at the US State Department

helped set up the Global Alliance for

Clean Cook stoves. US

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has become the most public face of the public-private

partnership, and has so far cajoled some 36 countries to join either to

implement clean cook stoves at home or become donors. "This is one of the

solvable problems that we face in the world today," she has said. The alliance brings together

many partners: researchers to draw up standards on stoves, manufacturers to

make them, governments to promote awareness, NGOs to help distribute them and

financiers to help people afford them. But executive director Radha Muthiah

said one of the biggest hurdles was "the lack of a consistent set of

agreed-upon global standards -- health standards, safety standards, emissions

standards and efficiency standards." Launched

in September 2010, the alliance has developed a strategy for how to tackle the

problem called "Igniting Change" and has spent most of 2012 deciding

which nations to target initially. The final choice will be unveiled in

September, but is likely to include Tanzania and Kenya, and possibly Bangladesh

and maybe Vietnam. China

and India hold a special status in the alliance. Both have already run successful

clean cook stove programs, and can bring their experience to bear as well as

working towards upgrading existing stoves. I thank

you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monterey Chiropractor
Monterey Chiropractor

I've read about this a while ago, and there were a lot of qualms about the validity of their claim. Although, one thing I do wonder is, if the research team behind this study helps reset their participants back to a healthier point, especially those who had a massive plaque built up?

Shelagh Osh
Shelagh Osh

Why would any one risk coronary artery disease by eating eggs? You have safe and healthy perfect proteins such as beans.

Chickens are caged in giant dark warehouses to produce these unhealthy

heart attack bombs and are known as the most abused animals on Earth. Many of these tortured chickens have diseases and cancer. Eggs also expose you to salmonella. Factory farm created eggs (99% of all egg production) has no use for male hatchlings. These newborn babies are thrown into giant meat grinders or suffocated in a garbage bag. This is beyond obscene cruelty.

Shelagh Osh
Shelagh Osh

Why would any one risk coronary artery disease by eating eggs? You have safe and healthy perfect proteins such as beans.

Chickens are caged in giant dark warehouses to produce these unhealthy

heart attack bombs and are known as the most abused animals on Earth. Many of these tortured chickens have diseases and cancer. Eggs also expose you to salmonella. Factory farm created eggs (99% of all egg production) has no use for male hatchlings. These newborn babies are thrown into giant meat grinders or suffocated in a garbage bag. This is beyond obscene cruelty.

Shelagh Osh
Shelagh Osh

Why would any one risk coronary artery disease by eating eggs? You have safe and healthy perfect proteins such as beans. Chickens are caged in giant dark warehouses to produce these unhealthy heart attack bombs and are known as the most abused animals on Earth. Many of these tortured chickens have diseases and cancer. Eggs also expose you to salmonella. Factory farm created eggs (99% of all egg production) has no use for male hatchlings. These newborn babies are thrown into giant meat grinders or suffocated in a garbage bag. This is beyond obscene cruelty.

18235
18235

i just ate three pickled eggs, though i threw away the yolks.

Larry Weisenthal
Larry Weisenthal

Good grief, Dr. LaPuma..."poor quality...shouldn't have been published." ??? 

Yes, it's possible to criticize just about any research study -- and it IS possible to criticize every single diet/health study ever published.  But this study is extremely useful -- not as a definitive, final word, but as far as what might be called "hypothesis generating."

The strength of the study was the robust endpoint -- artery wall thickness (as opposed to the typical, very soft endpoints of serum lipid levels, inflammatory markers, etc.).  The authors took on the herculean task of measuring artery wall thickness in over 1,200 men.

Long term dietary recall studies are fraught with inexactitudes, but I'd wager that the average weekly consumption of eggs is one of the more constant features of a typical person's diet -- probably more constant, even, than breakfast meats, butter, trans fats, etc.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.  This is a very ordinary claim -- to wit, that dietary cholesterol can contribute to the formation of cholesterol plaques. 

Of course, it's not definitive.  If you really love egg yolks, then it's a free country. Continue to eat them.  But there's absolutely no important dietary nutrient found in an egg yolk which is not readily available in foods without all the concentrated cholesterol.  For health conscious people who do not wish to wait 20 years for this to sort itself out, there is absolutely no health downside to ordering egg white veggie omelettes, as opposed to whole egg veggie (or veggie and cheese or veggie and meat) omelettes.  

- Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

Baton Rouge Architect
Baton Rouge Architect

You can dissect ingredients and chemicals, but it is well documented how emotions have an impact on one's health.

If someone is in bliss eating eggs, and loving it, it could good for their health.

If they read this article first...maybe not so much...

Andrew Voznyak
Andrew Voznyak

Also, scientists proved that consumption of eggs negatively affects vision

Coronary Disease
Coronary Disease

Smoking and other " bad" lifestyle habits are bad for your health. Do what is natural. I would tell people to just use their common sense. Eggs are a great source for  protein in a balanced diet.

Most of the scientific studies are not so much helpful since they focus on a

little part of the whole. More information about coronary disease, what is is and what to do etc. you find on http://coronary-disease.com

silversprockit
silversprockit

i worked as a waitress at a diner in omaha for 3 years and one in florida for a year. i have a  le cordon bleu culinary education and now own an organic vegetable farm.

my experience says that people who eat egg yolks eat them in combination with fatty meat, buttered toast, and potatoes fried in butter substitute (read: transfat). people who choose egg whites avoid the hashbrowns and order their toast dry. numbers don't lie. btw, very low percentage of egg white eaters (slightly higher on sanibel, fl).in addition, most of the eggs we eat are from caged birds with at high grain diet. my girls are pastured with supplemental grain mash. studies show that pastured eggs contain 1/3 less cholesterol.

Raptorhead
Raptorhead

 This was not a scientific study.  It didn't isolate eggs from other variables.  It's a summary of a bunch of "surveys" people filled out.

Cholesterol in food doesn't turn into blood cholesterol.  Sugars and carbs are the primary source of bad cholesterol balance.

sscarzz
sscarzz

First there're bad, then good amp; bad again.  Just eat what makes you happy, You could get hit by a car or small meteor fall on you.

Terry
Terry

Heart disease started going up in the 1950's, around the same time as natural cooking oils (coconut, palm) were pushed away fr0m us because  of the encoachment of vegetable oils- corn, peanut, soy safflower, sunflower, with their manufacturers promises of better health. These new "vegetable oils" were being pushed by manfacturers because of the pant market collapse. These vegetabe oils were used in the manufacture of PAINT!, but were replaced with petroleum, which is why the vegetable oil market faced total ollapse. They told US Consumers that coconut and palm oils were unhealthy, but the opposite was true. As they forced coconut and palm oil out of the market, they replaced them with corn, peanut and safflower oil. 

We now know these "healthy" vegetable oils are some of the poorest choices we can make to eat. Most vegetable oil is rancid before it hits supermarket shelvs. When it starts to break down, it turns into a stiky substance that your body cannot get rid of completely. This sticky residue will cause blockage of arteries and the subsequent health problems: notably heart attack and stroke.

On the other hand, the good oils that do not break down are olive, coconut and palm. The body can handle those oils much more efficiently, and it is why those oils are actually good for you. It is also why butter is much better for you than margarine. Bet you haven't heard that before!

trafik25
trafik25

This is ridiculous. I just spent the past 2.5 months eating a high protein diet and eggs were the centerpiece...I lost more body fat and gained more muscle than on any other diet in my life. Got news for you egg haters, eggs make you and keep you fit. Obviously your body loves them. :)

Danyz
Danyz

Why is this considered news? This kind of statment goes back to the 70's. Eggs are probably nature's most perfect source of protein and other vital nutrients. Dump meat, eat eggs, and your arteries will be just fine. Anyway, here's a theory that may have just as much merit as any other so lightly tossed around these days. Since the 70's, this cholesterol egg scare has reduced average consumption of eggs. In this same time frame, various types of old age dementias have increased. So here's a correlation! Might it just be possible then that the combination of high density nutrients found in eggs is the most easily assimilated by the brain? Could this egg speicific nutrient bath then keep the brain healthier and thus able to stave off certain old age brain dysfuntions?

Mike
Mike

I have one or two eggs a week, but then I go several weeks without buying them. I don't desire them all the time anyway.

Talendria
Talendria

If you think about how eggs are usually served in America (on a McMuffin or with a side of greasy meat and fried potatoes), it's not surprising that people who regularly consume eggs develop heart disease.  You have to look at the big picture.

My favorite way to eat a whole egg is in a rice bowl with carrots, broccoli, snow peas, and chicken.  Healthy and delicious!

homebuilding
homebuilding

Medical science KNOWS that quite a bit more exercise than the average American gets is a really, really good thing (with a great deal of reserarch verification).

Medical science KNOWS that losing weight to get down to the recommended averages is a really good thing, too.

Medical science KNOWS that lowered caloric input is associated with greater longevity.

Therefore, enjoy a bit of booze, a couple of eggs, some meat, some veggies, some gravy and biscuits, as you wish, but in noticeably lesser amounts than is customary for us....with well more daily movement and exercise than is our average.

It's really about that simple....

and don't  automatically take every RX given by the doc, IF above healthy weight and lowered caloric intake are NOT part of your regular discussions

opensets
opensets

Well.....technically you can show association has a high probability of being causation under certain circumstances. I'm not sure if the research did that though. Not paying money to read that article.

RobertPPruitt
RobertPPruitt

 Hah, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that medical science is bad science. They change what is good or bad for you so often you can't keep track of it. First eggs were horrible for you due to the high cholesterol, then the cholesterol in eggs was different and it didn't have any affect on  "blood cholesterol" , and now these people are trying to say it's horrible again for the same reason it was in the beginning. Retarded at best. Look at salt. For decades we were told how bad salt was for us and we needed to cut back. Now we are finding out that people who eat less salt have a GREATER chance of dying from heart disease! And read this: "when salt intake is cut, the body responds by releasing renin and

aldosterone, an enzyme and a hormone, respectively, that increase blood

pressure."

I eat almost no veg. oil(only canola and olive) but in an average week I do eat 1.5LB+ butter, chicken(always with skin) hamburger meat(drain very little of the fat off) beef and pork(and LOVE eating the crunchy fat on both) and well over a pound of whole milk cheeses, 2 gallons of whole milk, not to mention a little sour cream and cream cheese(never low fat)and about a pint of mayonnaise.

The "normal" range for cholesterol is 100-199. I'm at a shocking 202. I say shocking because after I told my DR. what I ate he couldn't believe it was that low(I became anorexic 5 years ago after nerve damage from a surgery killed my appetite, so I also eat a lot of high fat foods to help boost my calorie intake.

I also started smoking at 10YO(42 now) . X-rays done last year to help rule out other causes of my anorexia showed my lungs to be quite clear, which also got a double take from my DR. when I told him how long I had smoked.(btw if anyone wants to know why tobacco isn't the real main reason that heart and lung disease is so high percentage wise now compared to in the past even though a lower percentage of people smoke, although it is unhealthy for you, and what the real reason is just email me at lordgarion514@gmail.com . And I'll list it all out and give references where needed.

The thing is, I have always preferred home cooking over packaged highly processed  "junk food" that we are told is healthy for us. And I have always worked hard(I mean really worked hard, not that BS that people who sit behind a desk all day and get mentally tired say is "hard work", there is a very real difference, not that using your mind in an office all day isn't mentally draining because it is, but the body needs lots of activity, anything else is bad for your physical health). The body can use just about any and all food you shove into it with very few side affects  IF you use your body. There's a reason why it's almost unheard of for a 20 something smoker who has a physically demanding job to keel over with a heart attack but it is becoming  pretty common for 20 somethings who do AND do not smoke who sit at a desk all day and then watch T.V. or get on the net all night to have heart attacks.

Go back a couple hundred years in America when ALL food was organic NON-gmo. It was quite common for people to live into their 70's-80's. The reason the average was so low is because of childhood diseases(for which there were no vaccines) and infections(for which there was no antibiotics. A simple paper cut could literally kill you by becoming infected leading to blood poisoning). The people who ate bacon and eggs every morning and beef, pork and chicken daily had very little heart or lung disease whether they smoked or not(although smokers had a little more than non, it was nowhere near as bad as it is now. The main reasons for the drastic increase now over then is one, coal power plants pump radioactive polonium 209 into the air and the entire planet is literally covered in it and smokers eat it in all their food just like non smokers do, but smokers also take it into their lungs(that's bad btw). Secondly almost all the plants(and animals because they eat the same food we do) we consume are grown with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides made from crude oil(btw vitamin and mineral supplements that aren't organic are also made from crude oil) .

The human body is not "designed" to ingest ANY(much less the large quantities we are) processed foods, which throws the balance of the nutrients right out the window,  a balance our bodies have spent many thousands of years becoming dependent upon to function properly.

Is it any wonder science has such a hard time nailing down exactly what is going on? We grow our crops with oil based nutrients/poisons, we feed the animals we eat foods they are not capable of processing correctly and so we pump them full of many different synthetic chemicals so they can cope with the diet we force upon them and then we eat the meat that results from all this unnatural tinkering. Wanna see something cool? Look up the nutrition information for a regular run of the mill steak(beef) then look up the same steak but from an organically grass fed cow. Know what you will find? The grass fed beef has a little less bad fat, a little more good fat AND grass fed beef even contains Omega 3 amp; 6 fatty acids. That's right, cows grown properly have the same heart healthy fats as the coveted cold water fish they tell us to eat because the fats they contain are so healthy for us(although beef contains less of it)

So eat natural unprocessed foods and get out there and work HARD or at least exercise hard almost every dayfor several hours. Do this and you can really cut back on the amount of worrying you do about your health and you will be healthier.

Sorry for the rant.

And here is the link about salt that I stated above.

http://www.scientificamerican....

SamanthaNBurton
SamanthaNBurton

@JonnyMRX Apparently you need eggs to have terrible grammar. Also your "point" is anecdotal evidence. I don't eat eggs (or any animal product) and exercise 4-6 times a week. BOOM anecdotal v anecdotal.

maxmonastyrev
maxmonastyrev

If you're suffering from cardiovascular problems, then this study may help, otherwise, trash!

yoguruso
yoguruso

@Jeffrey Miller aaand, your point is ?

Matthias Weiss
Matthias Weiss

Let's not forget that nice big squirt of syrup for your pancakes! I suspect that sugar is a much bigger risk factor than egg yolk...

Ahh...the treachery of confounding variables!

RobertPPruitt
RobertPPruitt

 Umm, to that I would ask you why would you risk a hundred different cancers by eating non organic fruits and vegetables that are laced with many(dozens in some cases)scientifically known carcinogenic oil based compounds???

Because we like them. And unlike the poisons in non organic fruits and vegetables causing cancer,  there is no proof that they cause any health problems. they used to say they did, but they never really had proof, then when they really studied them they found that dietary cholesterol has no effect on blood cholesterol, or so much more stringent studies than this one says so. 

MaPol
MaPol

Don't forget olive oil.  That, too, is good for the body.

Baton Rouge Architect
Baton Rouge Architect

I actually haven't, you make some very good points to think about. There is a definite inversely proportional correlation with negative impacts on health that is connected to synthetic foods. 

The closer food products are to their natural form in nature, with no engineering or anything, always seems best...

Vic Bowker
Vic Bowker

 That's great! However, that doesn't really speak to the issue about cholesterol and plaque...

RobertPPruitt
RobertPPruitt

 The picture is too big to ever hope to see it all.

Why was heart disease in say 50-60year old people lower a hundred years ago than now. Back then way more people ate eggs.....with bacon sausage and even steak and pork chops left over from the night before and on a near daily basis to boot. Never mind the fact that they ate butter, lard and tallow daily and in much higher quantities than we do now.

Simple. Back then the eggs and all the meat was grown completely different with no synthetic chemicals added like we do almost universally right down to our fruits and veggies.

Not to mention a lot more people(percentage of population not total numbers)  worked physically demanding jobs instead of sitting behind a desk all day and now all night thanks to T.V. and the internet.

Isn't anyone the least bit curious why we need to cut back on these "bad foods" today(and indeed every study done by a reputable group shows that lowering your consumption of these animal fats has massive positive health benefits)

But in the old days when people worked hard and ate only organic foods the current massive negative affect on our health didn't really exist from eating them in higher quantities.

I call BS, and say it is NOT the food itself but something we have, in our "modern" wisdom done to change the food at a very basic level.

All these inorganic chemicals(that are actually poisonous BTW) would account for a lot, if not the vast majority of the conflicting results from various studies.

http://healthland.time.com/201...

Think about it for a minute. If you study people and group them according to what they eat, exercise, etc. etc. etc, but they all eat slightly different amounts of these foods(no two people are going to have eaten EXACTLY the same quantity of every food) meaning that no two people are exposed to the exact same quantity of each poison.Fertilizers(crude oil based)Pesticides(crude oil based)not to mention various herbicides anti-fungals etc. are sprayed on our plant crops, but each type of crop receives different types or different amount, which can vary greatly especially when grown in different locations. then our food/dairy animals eat these same crops, which they are not able to digest properly resulting in myriad health problems for which they are fed and injected with all sorts of chemicals to "fix"(their given these drugs till they are slaughtered, so they are never cured) the problems caused by a diet of improper foods laced with dozens of poisonous chemicals(imagine how sick you would be, and the drugs you would need, if you only ate grasses, which is the only food a cow is supposed to eat, and the only food they can properly digest and use. Now picture the animals just as sick from only eating "human" food). And let's not forget all the synthetic chemicals given to these animals to make them grow unnaturally fast.

This difference in the amounts of each type of  poisonous chemical that gets added to all the food we eat has to have a differing affect on our bodies according to how much of each one we consume and for how long we consume it. That is science at it's most basic. You would have to be a complete fool to think that these hundreds of poisonous chemicals don't have a very real and very negative affect on our physical and mental well being.

But are we as a people, willing to fork out the billions of dollars it would take to undo the unhealthy mess our food has become, mostly in the name of saving money. So in the end we, the consumers are just as guilty as is big business and government because we begged and demanded cheaper prices, and we, with our cash and our vote, rewarded those companies and politicians that gave them to us. No matter the true hidden cost.

Personally I think we are, as a people, and maybe as a species, too greedy and obsessed with our me generation selves to make it happen. We would rather have the next "big thing" in electronic toys that we can hold,  play, and gratify ourselves with than to give up something that makes us happy for a short time in order to do something that would make us be healthier and live longer but gives no reward that we can feel right now.

And the saddest part is that we extend this me me me mentality to even include putting our wants over our children's NEEDS(I can here everyone with kids screaming that they don't put their wants over their children's needs right now, and they are all lying to themselves if they believe it) .

People, even most of the ones who say they can't afford the natural organic whole foods,  even including the ones on food-stamps(and I don't begrudge anyone who NEEDS the help,glad to have my taxes go to help them, especially the children) buy soda and candy bars for themselves and their children, not to mention all the other non-essential junk we as Americans buy....While claiming they can't afford better food to feed to their own kids. Every dollar we waste buying junk we don't need is a dollar that could have bought better food. There are no excuses.

And for those that will try and attack me for the last 3 paragraphs I used to be just as bad as the rest of you, and I do still occasionally have a weak moment, but I have  reduced my keeping up with the Joneses mentality and my need for instant gratification a great deal, But it is a hard master to break free from. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't all try. The better food you, and the ones you love, who depend on you to provide good food(but want the bad anyway)will do wonders for yours and their health in the long run.

cptwayne
cptwayne

Good observation.  What is also missing in the study is the cause of the buildup of plaque in the first place.  Humans arteries have "intima" cells lining the arteries which secrete an enzyme that break up the plaque. These cells are damaged in early life (up to ~ the first 8 years) by arterial inflammation. The homogenization of dairy products (countries without this process have a lot less heart disease) appears to be the major culprit here.  Later, smoking, being exposed to free chlorine (i.e. swimming pools) and consuming over cooked corn oil kills a few more intima cells.  There are, of course, some genetic and natural causes too.  Without exercise, the body can't take out its own trash. Eating the cultured cheeses, for example, directs calcium to the bones and not the arteries (as does non cultured cheeses).   Normal aging is also partially to blame as the serum Vitamin C levels drop and the anti-Vitamin C increases.   

megan03
megan03

Who says heart disease was lower in 50-60 year-old people a hundred years ago?  A hundred years ago we, for the most part,  didn't know what people died of.  And they died a lot younger.  So back to the world of skewed statistics.  

Talendria
Talendria

I agree with much of what you said, and I wonder whether there have been any studies of Amish folks, since they live the way the rest of the country lived 200 years ago. I don't know if they pollute their livestock with chemicals though, and I don't know if they stock up on soda and candy once a month. It's worth looking into.

The other problem with our society is that we focus obsessively on extending our own lifespan rather than doing something productive and altruistic with the time we have. Humans weren't meant to live forever. Our biology and psychology is designed for a finite existence, so I'd like to see the medical community focus on quality over quantity. Too many people are just hanging on or getting by instead living life to the fullest and making a positive impact on their community.

RobertPPruitt
RobertPPruitt

 Actually we can, and do, dig them up all the time and we an usually tell what was wrong with them.

Also people living into their 80's was quite common if they made it into adulthood and didn't get an infection or something like that.

The 2 main reasons the average age of death was so low was because it was quite normal for a couple to have 5-7 kids and have 3-5 of them die before they even made it to their teens. That will drop an average lifespan right into the toilet. then with no real way to cure infections something as simple as a paper cut on your finger could lead to your death(blood-poisoning, and you either cut the arm off soon enough or died) If you take out the people who died from infections from self inflicted wounds and the children/babies that died from childhood diseases that we now have vaccines for then the average age rises very high and our modern medicine(minus antibiotics and vaccines) has not actually given us all that much extra lifespan. From the 30's-40's that was their average it would rise to somewhere into their late 60's early 70's.We are at the late 70's for men and 80 for women. Not much of an increase for all the money we spend, not to mention that for most those later years are spent in relatively bad health consuming a ton of meds.

And let us not forget the number of people back then that died from physical trauma due t life just being more physical and dangerous. There was no "safety equipment or guards on big machinery.

No our life span has not been extended all that much at all when you figure those three things into the equation. And we do have much more heart and lung disease, not to mention cancers of all types than we did even just a few decades ago, and since we can tell by the bones what types of cancers people had(most of the time, there are a very few that leave no trace, but they are rare now and have always been) We d*amn sure have more of these diseases than a 100 years ago.

so no, we are not back to skewed statistics, you come back to the realities of what we have created for ourselves and our children all in the name of lower prices.