A review of scientific research and recommendations regarding eggs

J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6 Suppl):596S-600S. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2004.10719429.

Abstract

For much of the past 40 years, the public has been warned away from eggs because of a concern over coronary heart disease risk. This concern is based on three observations: 1. eggs are a rich source of dietary cholesterol; 2. when fed experimentally, dietary cholesterol increases serum cholesterol and; 3. high serum cholesterol predicts the onset of coronary heart disease. However, data from free-living populations show that egg consumption is not associated with higher cholesterol levels. Furthermore, as a whole, the epidemiologic literature does not support the idea that egg consumption is a risk factor for coronary disease. Within the nutritional community there is a growing appreciation that health derives from an overall pattern of diet rather than from the avoidance of particular foods, and there has been a shift in the tone in recent dietary recommendations away from "avoidance" messages to ones that promote healthy eating patterns. The most recent American Heart Association guidelines no longer include a recommendation to limit egg consumption, but recommend the adoption of eating practices associated with good health. Based on the epidemiologic evidence, there is no reason to think that such a healthy eating pattern could not include eggs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / standards*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Eggs*
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • United States / epidemiology

Substances

  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Cholesterol