Effects of eggs on plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations

Food Funct. 2010 Nov;1(2):156-60. doi: 10.1039/c0fo00088d. Epub 2010 Oct 19.


Extensive research has not clearly established a link between egg consumption and risk for coronary heart disease. This lack of connection can be explained by two major reasons: First, eggs are a good source of numerous nutrients including lutein and zeaxanthin, potent antioxidants, which may exert a protective effect against lipoprotein oxidation. Second, it has been well established that dietary cholesterol increases the concentrations of both circulating LDL and HDL cholesterol in those individuals who experience a higher increase in plasma cholesterol following egg consumption (hyper-responders). It is also important to note that 75% of the population experiences a mild increase or no alterations in plasma cholesterol concentrations when challenged with high amounts of dietary cholesterol (normal responders and hypo-responders). Egg intake has been shown to promote the formation of large LDL and HDL subclasses in addition to shifting individuals from the LDL pattern B to pattern A, which is less atherogenic. For these reasons, dietary recommendations aimed at restricting egg consumption should be taken with caution and not include all individuals. We need to acknowledge that diverse healthy populations experience no risk in developing coronary heart disease by increasing their intake of cholesterol but in contrast, they may have multiple beneficial effects by the inclusion of eggs in their regular diet.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / diet therapy
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / epidemiology
  • Eggs*
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood*
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors


  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL