Background: Prevailing recommendations call for restricting intake of dietary cholesterol and eggs for those at risk of heart disease, despite accumulating evidence challenging this association. Our prior studies showed no short-term adverse effects of daily egg intake on cardiac risk factors in at-risk adults.
Objective: We conducted this study to determine effects of daily egg consumption in adults with established coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methods: Randomized, controlled, single-blind, crossover trial of 32 adults (mean age, 67 years; 6 women, 26 men) with CAD assigned to 1 of 6 possible sequence permutations of 3 different treatments (breakfast with 2 eggs, breakfast with ½ cup Egg Beaters, ConAgra Foods, St. Louis, MO, or a high-carbohydrate breakfast part of an ad libitum diet) for 6 weeks, with 4-week washout periods. The primary outcome measure was endothelial function measured as flow-mediated dilatation.
Results: Compared with the control breakfast (ie, high-carbohydrate breakfast), daily consumption of eggs showed no adverse effects on flow-mediated dilatation (7.2% ± 2.9% vs 7.5% ± 2.9%, P = .33), lipids (total cholesterol: 158.3 ± 28.6 mg/dL vs 156.2 ± 27.4 mg/dL, P = .49), blood pressure (systolic blood pressure: 132.8 ± 14.1 mm Hg or vs 135.5 ± 14.9 mm Hg, P = .52; diastolic blood pressure: 77.2 ± 6.1 mm Hg vs 76.7 ± 6.9 mm Hg, P = .86), or body weight (90.8 ± 17.5 kg vs 91.8 ± 17.1 kg, P = .92). No outcomes differed (P > .05) between eggs and Egg Beaters.
Conclusions: We found no evidence of adverse effects of daily egg ingestion on any cardiac risk factors in adults with CAD over a span of 6 weeks.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01672567.
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