Egg intake during carbohydrate restriction alters peripheral blood mononuclear cell inflammation and cholesterol homeostasis in metabolic syndrome

Nutrients. 2014 Jul 18;6(7):2650-67. doi: 10.3390/nu6072650.


Egg yolk contains bioactive components that improve plasma inflammatory markers and HDL profiles in metabolic syndrome (MetS) under carbohydrate restriction. We further sought to determine whether egg yolk intake affects peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) inflammation and cholesterol homeostasis in MetS, as HDL and its associated lipid transporter ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) reduce the inflammatory potential of leukocytes through modulation of cellular cholesterol content and distribution. Thirty-seven men and women classified with MetS consumed a moderate carbohydrate-restricted diet (25%-30% of energy) for 12 weeks, in addition to consuming either three whole eggs per day (EGG) or the equivalent amount of yolk-free egg substitute (SUB). Interestingly, lipopolysaccharide-induced PBMC IL-1β and TNFα secretion increased from baseline to week 12 in the SUB group only, despite increases in PBMC toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) mRNA expression in the EGG group. Compared to baseline, ABCA1 and 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase mRNA expression increased by week 12 in the EGG group only, whereas changes in PBMC total cholesterol positively correlated with changes in lipid raft content. Together, these findings suggest that intake of whole eggs during carbohydrate restriction alters PBMC inflammation and cholesterol homeostasis in MetS.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter 1 / genetics
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter 1 / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Eggs*
  • Female
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA Reductases / genetics
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA Reductases / metabolism
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • ABCA1 protein, human
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter 1
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • RNA, Messenger
  • TLR4 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Cholesterol
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA Reductases