Are eggs and aspirin good or bad for your heart? Two recent studies may have prompted some people to wonder. One of the studies found that the more eggs you eat, the greater your risk of cardiovascular disease. The other study showed that elderly people should not take a daily dose of aspirin to reduce their risk of heart attack because the aspirin may increase their risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
So who can eat eggs and who should take aspirin? Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, sets the record straight.
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He starts with eggs. It's all about moderation.
"I do think people who have high cholesterol should avoid too many eggs, but, you know, three or four a week is a reasonable amount," Dr. Kopecky says.
Egg whites are full of protein, but yolks contain a lot of cholesterol. Dr. Kopecky says if you want to eat more eggs but don't want the cholesterol, just eat the whites.
Now what about aspirin? It used to be recommended that adults at increased risk of heart attack or stroke should take aspirin to reduce their chances of having adverse events. But research shows people over 70 should not take aspirin regularly. So who should take it? Dr. Kopecky says it's all about individual risk.
"Talk to a health care provider. Have them go over your risk profile for heart attack and stroke. If your risk is really high — over about 20 percent — and you have no bleeding problems, it probably will help you, but talk to somebody about it first," Dr. Kopecky says.