Increased Dietary Cholesterol Does Not Increase Plasma Low Density Lipoprotein When Accompanied by an Energy-Restricted Diet and Weight Loss

Eur J Nutr. 2008 Sep;47(6):287-93. doi: 10.1007/s00394-008-0730-y. Epub 2008 Aug 26.

Abstract

Background: Diets enriched with dietary cholesterol, frequently from eggs, have been shown to produce a small but variable increase in plasma low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. There is evidence to suggest that energy-restricted diets, that may contain a relatively high proportion of fat and cholesterol, can attenuate the cholesterol-raising effect of dietary cholesterol on plasma LDL.

Aim of the study: To determine the combined effects of increased dietary cholesterol and weight loss produced by energy restriction on plasma LDL cholesterol and lipoproteins.

Methods: A randomized, controlled, parallel study was performed in two groups of free-living volunteers on an energy-restricted diet for 12 weeks, one group was instructed to consume two eggs a day (n = 24), the other, to exclude eggs (n = 21). Dietary advice on energy restriction was based on the British Heart Foundation guidelines on how to lose weight for men and women.

Results: Energy intake fell by 25 and 29% in the egg-fed and non-egg-fed groups, resulting in a moderate weight loss of 3.4 kg (P < 0.05) and 4.4 kg (P < 0.05), respectively. The daily intake of dietary cholesterol increased significantly in the egg-fed group from 278 to 582 mg after 6 weeks. The concentration of plasma LDL cholesterol decreased in the non-egg-fed groups after 6 weeks (P < 0.01) and in the egg-fed and non-egg-fed at 12 weeks relative to baseline. There were no other significant changes in plasma lipoproteins or LDL particle size.

Conclusions: An increased intake of dietary cholesterol from two eggs a day, does not increase total plasma or LDL cholesterol when accompanied by moderate weight loss. These findings suggest that cholesterol-rich foods should not be excluded from dietary advice to lose weight on account of an unfavorable influence on plasma LDL cholesterol.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Eggs
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Particle Size
  • Weight Loss / physiology*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Dietary Fats