A couple of studies were published in this month’s Journal of Nutrition (click here and here for abstracts) showing that substances found in egg yolks were concentrated in the eye and help prevent macular degeneration, one of the dreaded diseases of aging. Macular degeneration is caused by a deterioration of the retina, and is the leading cause of blindness in people over 55.
These two fat soluble nutrients–lutein and zeaxanthin–are found in egg yolks as well as in other foods but appear to be more bioavailable when consumed as eggs.
Click here for a pretty good overview of the findings of these studies.
The sad but amusing sidebar to these studies is the extreme effort these researchers made to ensure that the egg consumption that provided all the benefits wasn’t associated with–God forbid–any ‘negative’ change in cholesterol levels.
As the summary points out
Importantly, serum concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides were not affected by the egg interventions.
So, let’s review. Macular degeneration causes enormous disability to those afflicted, that we know for sure. The notion that elevations of cholesterol cause any kind of problem whatsoever is an hypothesis, and one that gets blown up any time it’s really evaluated. Researchers find a cheap, nutritious, readily available food containing substances that prevent macular degeneration, but they’re timid about its use because it ‘might’ minimally increase blood levels of cholesterol, which have never been shown to cause problems in the first place. And have never really been shown to increase with increased cholesterol in the diet.
God help us all.