A headline warning people about purported adverse health effects linked to a popular breakfast staple began circulating on social media in late January.
“Scientists warn eggs are causing thousands of people to ‘suddenly’ form blood clots,” the headline published online by News Punch, which describes itself as a news and entertainment website, reads. Some people have also shared the headline on social media, with some posts implying that blood clots are linked to COVID-19 vaccines.
Robert asked VERIFY if the claims about eggs causing blood clots are true.
Did scientists warn people that eating eggs causes blood clots?
- The Cleveland Clinic
- A 2017 study published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation journal
- The American Heart Association
- Christopher Gardner, Ph.D., professor of medicine at Stanford University and chair of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee
No, scientists did not warn people that eating eggs causes blood clots.
WHAT WE FOUND
The article claims eggs are causing “thousands of people to ‘suddenly’ form blood clots,” citing findings from a Cleveland Clinic study.
But the study authors told VERIFY that the article “does not accurately represent the findings” of their research.
The Cleveland Clinic researchers’ study about choline supplements was published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation journal in 2017. It specifically looked at choline supplements alone, not consumption of the nutrient through foods such as eggs.
Choline is a nutrient that helps to support brain and liver function. It’s found in certain foods such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs, and it is also available as a supplement if you aren’t getting enough of the nutrient in your diet.
The study found that choline supplements in the form of a capsule raised levels of trimethylamine n-oxide (TMAO), a metabolite produced by gut bacteria, among the study participants.
This fostered increased platelet responsiveness, a risk factor for blood-clotting events such as heart attack and stroke, according to the study authors.
But “the research did not show a direct link between egg consumption and ‘suddenly forming blood clots,’” as the headline claims, the authors said.
Christopher Gardner, professor of medicine at Stanford University and chair of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee, agrees. He said statements linking eggs to blood clots are “completely unsupported.”
“To extrapolate from a study that did focus on a single nutrient and try to make a claim about food habits, or foods to include or avoid, is really a stretch for the data and we need to stop doing that,” Gardner said.
More recent research from the Cleveland Clinic experts doesn’t support the claim that eating eggs can increase risk factors for blood clots, either.
A 2021 study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that egg consumption alone “failed to show TMAO elevation or enhanced platelet response in healthy volunteers,” the authors said.
Eggs can be part of an overall healthy dietary pattern, the American Heart Association says. The association suggests a serving size of one egg or two egg whites per day for people who choose to eat eggs.
News Punch has shared misinformation online in the past. A research guide on Western Carolina University’s website describes News Punch as a website that “combines verifiable facts with conspiracy theories, urban legends and other rumors."
VERIFY reached out to News Punch for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.