The claim: Eggs are causing thousands of people to 'suddenly' form blood clots
A Jan. 24 article by News Punch shows a headline with a seemingly dire warning about eggs.
"Scientists warn eggs are causing thousands of people to 'suddenly' form blood clots," reads the headline.
A line beneath the headline asserts that the study is meant to divert attention away from the actual culprit, the COVID-19 vaccines.
"This is yet another example of the global elite attempting to distract the public from the real cause of the surge in heart problems since the jab rollout," the line reads.
The article was shared more than 900 times in a week, according to the social media analytics tool CrowdTangle. Screenshots of the story shared on Facebook and Instagram accumulated thousands more interactions.
Our rating: False
The claim is wrong on multiple fronts. The authors of the study in question said the article misrepresents their research, and there is no evidence linking egg consumption to a higher risk of blood clots. The study was also published in 2017, years before the COVID-19 vaccines were developed. Numerous studies and real-world use have shown the COVID-19 vaccines to be safe and effective.
Study didn't show link between eggs, blood clots
The Jan. 24 News Punch article references a 2017 study by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic that found the compound choline was linked to increased production of a "gut bacteria byproduct" that raises the risk of blood-clotting events, such as heart attack or stroke. Choline is naturally occurring and typically found in egg yolks, red meat and processed meats, but it was dispensed in supplements in the study.
In a statement from the Cleveland Clinic, the study's authors, Weifei Zhu, Zeneng Wang, W. H. Wilson Tang and Stanley Hazen, said the News Punch article "does not accurately represent the findings of our 2017 research."
Fact check: Post falsely claims that FDA said Pfizer vaccines cause blood clots
"The research did not show a direct link between egg consumption and 'suddenly forming blood clots,'" they said.
A later study, published by the same researchers in 2021, also found egg consumption did not lead to an increased risk of blood clots.
No 'surge' in heart problems from COVID-19 vaccines
The article claims the egg study is an attempt to distract from the "surge in heart problems since the jab rollout," but there's no proof of any such surge caused by the COVID-19 vaccines.
While numerous studies have demonstrated that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, no studies have indicated that vaccines cause heart attacks, Howard Forman, a radiology professor at Yale University, previously told USA TODAY.
The number of deaths from heart attacks increased during the pandemic, reversing what had been an ongoing trend, according to a study by the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai.
But that rise was already present early in the pandemic, before the COVID-19 vaccines were released. The study noted that spikes in heart attack deaths have tracked with surges in COVID-19 infections.
Dr. Yee Hui Yeo, an author of the study and a Cedars-Sinai physician-scientist, said in a news release that one possible explanation could be that COVID-19 itself triggers or accelerates preexisting coronary artery disease, even in younger adults.
USA TODAY has previously debunked similar claims involving the COVID-19 vaccines, including that the FDA said vaccines are linked to heart attacks and deaths, that the FDA said Pfizer vaccines cause blood clotting and that a poster from Ireland's health authority shows 'sudden death' and 'blood clotting' as side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment.
Lead Stories, PolitiFact and Reuters also debunked the claim.
Our fact-check sources:
Cleveland Clinic, Jan. 30, Email exchange with USA TODAY
Circulation journal, April 25, 2017, Gut Microbe-Generated Trimethylamine N-Oxide From Dietary Choline Is Prothrombotic in Subjects
National Institutes of Health, accessed Jan. 30, Choline
Cleveland Clinic, April 25, 2017, Cleveland Clinic Researchers First to Show Dietary Choline and Gut Bacteria Byproduct Linked with Increased Blood Clotting Risk, Heart Disease
The American Journal of Medicine, April 16, 2021, Dietary Choline Supplements, but Not Eggs, Raise Fasting TMAO Levels in Participants with Normal Renal Function: A Randomized Clinical Trial
The New England Journal of Medicine, Dec. 31, 2020, Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine
USA TODAY, March 14, 2022, Fact check: False claim that FDA said vaccines are linked to heart attacks, deaths
Journal of Medical Virology, Sept. 29, 2022, Excess risk for acute myocardial infarction mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic
Cedars-Sinai, Oct. 24, 2022, COVID-19 Surges Linked to Spike in Heart Attacks
Lead Stories, Jan. 26, Fact Check: Scientists Did NOT Warn Eggs Are Causing Thousands Of People To 'Suddenly' Form Blood Clots
PolitiFact, Jan. 27, Don't egg them on: Scientists found no link between eggs, sudden blood clots
Reuters, Jan. 27, Fact Check-Cleveland Clinic study did not conclude eggs are causing thousands of blood clots
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim study links eating eggs to blood clots