Background: n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) convey several health benefits, including a reduction of serum concentration of triglycerides (TG).
Aim: To examine the effect on blood lipids, particularly TG, of a diet with n-3 PUFA enriched eggs in healthy volunteers in the Seychelles (Indian Ocean).
Methods: Double-blind crossover trial with one group of volunteers fed with 5 normal eggs per week during 3 weeks followed by 5 enriched eggs per week during the next 3 weeks while the other group received eggs in the inverse sequence. Hen feed was supplemented at 5% with tuna oil. Enriched eggs contained nine times more n-3 PUFA than usual eggs (mainly docosahexaenoic acid).
Results: Twenty-five healthy volunteers participated in the study. Based on pooled results observed during the two 3-week periods, consumption of enriched eggs was associated with a significant 16-18% decrease in serum triglycerides (P<0.01) but with no significant difference in serum LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol. Serum LDL-cholesterol increased during the first 3-week period and decreased during the second 3-week period with both normal and enriched eggs. Participants did not report a systematic preference for either type of eggs.
Conclusions: Reasonable consumption of n-3 PUFA enriched eggs was associated with a significant decrease in serum triglycerides. These eggs could be a palatably acceptable source of n-3 PUFA.