Article spreads misinformation about eggs, blood clots
An article claims that, in order to cover up a dangerous side effect of Covid-19 vaccines, scientists are linking egg consumption to blood clots. This is false; the study referenced in the piece was published years before the pandemic and examined the risk of cardiovascular diseases associated with a nutritional supplement.
"Scientists Warn Eggs Are Causing Thousands of People to 'Suddenly' Form Blood Clots," says the headline of a NewsPunch article published January 24, 2023.
The story, which cites a study from Cleveland Clinic, continues: "In what appears to be 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, scientists now want us to believe that a nutrient found in eggs increases the risk of blood clotting."
Podcast host Joe Rogan and osteopath Sherri Tenpenny, both of whom have previously promoted vaccine misinformation, amplified the claim on Facebook and Twitter, where it gained hundreds of thousands of views.
The posts come amid a wave of unproven claims that medical professionals are seeking to cover up the dangers of Covid-19 shots, which health authorities say are safe and effective at preventing serious illness and death.
NewsPunch, a website that AFP has previously fact-checked, cites as evidence reporting from the Daily Express, a British newspaper. The Express story, published January 22 and later updated, says the Cleveland Clinic study found a compound "found in eggs" is linked to an increased risk of blood clotting.
But the NewsPunch article does not accurately present the academic medical center's findings.
"The research did not show a direct link between egg consumption and 'suddenly forming blood clots,'" the Cleveland Clinic told AFP in a January 27 statement.
Study focused on supplements
The 2017 paper focused on choline, a nutrient found in eggs.
The Cleveland Clinic said its researchers' work "showed that taking supplemental choline in a capsule, a fairly common supplement, raised TMAO levels," or compounds produced by gut bacteria. That could present "a risk factor for thrombotic events such as heart attack and stroke," the center told AFP.
However, the same scientists published another study in 2021 that found "egg consumption failed to show TMAO elevation or enhanced platelet response in healthy volunteers."
Martha Gulati, director of preventive cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, told AFP: "Eating eggs most definitely doesn't cause blood clotting."
She said choline "is in many different foods, including eggs, but when people take supplements, they are usually taking high doses that aren't the amount in food."
Vaccines are safe
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says on its website that severe reactions after Covid-19 vaccination are rare. The Food and Drug Administration recommends the shots for children and adults.
Health authorities are monitoring some rare "adverse events of interest" reported after Covid-19 vaccination -- including thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, which causes blood clotting.
The condition has occurred in approximately four cases per one million doses of Johnson and Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine. The CDC has recommended shots from Pfizer and Moderna instead of Johnson and Johnson.
More of AFP's reporting on vaccine misinformation can be found here.