Times Colonist

New view on eggs has a sunny side

- DR. PAUL DONOHUE Your Good Health

Dear Dr. Donohue: My wife and I eat two or three eggs a week. We have heard that eggs are not good for your cholestero­l. What do you say? We love eggs. I boil mine, and she scrambles hers. Which is better?

Anon.

Dear Dr. Donohue: Is a diet of eggs every morning for a 13-year-old boy detrimenta­l to his health?

L.T. When the medical world woke up to the potential hazards of cholestero­l, it waged an all-out war on it. That started many years ago, when cholestero­l informatio­n was not great. At that time, the medical community set a low daily limit on cholestero­l to protect people from artery hardening, heart attacks and strokes. Since those early days, informatio­n has been obtained that clears much of cholestero­l foods (not blood cholestero­l) from the accusation­s made against them. Cholestero­l foods don’t raise blood cholestero­l all that much; saturated fats do.

A large study of 120,000 men and women who ate an egg every day found no associatio­n between such egg eating and heart disease. Another study in 2007, made by the New Jersey School of Medicine and Dentistry, failed to discover any link between the frequency of egg eating and heart disease. Canada and the United Kingdom put no upper limit on the safe amount of daily cholestero­l.

The egg is a nutritiona­l bonanza and, even at today’s prices, a true bargain. It supplies protein; vitamins A, D and E; some B vitamins; iron; zinc; lutein; and zeaxanthin. The latter two promote eye health. The number of calories in one egg is only 75.

You can’t fry eggs in a pool of butter without raising the calorie count and fat consumptio­n. Scrambling and boiling are both good preparatio­n methods. Frying is OK if you don’t use tonnes of butter or other fat.

Dear Dr. Donohue: Is dementia the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease? I have always thought that dementia affects only the mind, and Alzheimer’s the mind and body.

Dear Dr. Donohue: I have literature on a special tea that makes you lose as much as 16 pounds in four weeks by drinking two cups a day. Is this possible?

M.B. “Dementia” is an all-encompassi­ng word that indicates a decline in mental functions -memory, reasoning, comprehens­ion, alertness and learning. Alzheimer’s accounts for the greatest number of dementia cases, but there are many other dementing illnesses: multiple small strokes, Lewy body disease, Binswanger’s disease, boxer’s brain, Pick’s disease, Huntington's disease and others.

Formerly, dementia was called senility.

E.S. Things that sound too good to be true usually aren't true. I don't have specific knowledge of the product, but I have some serious doubts.

I’m a skeptic at heart. Readers may write to Dr. Donohue at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Readers may also order health newsletter­s from www.rbmamall.com.

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