Impact of Egg Consumption on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes and at Risk for Developing Diabetes: A Systematic Review of Randomized Nutritional Intervention Studies

Can J Diabetes. 2017 Aug;41(4):453-463. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2016.12.002. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


Observational studies have reported inconclusive results regarding the relationship between egg consumption (and dietary cholesterol) and the risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in individuals with type 2 diabetes, which has led to inconsistent recommendations to patients. We reviewed the evidence of egg consumption on major CVD risk factors in individuals with or at risk for type 2 diabetes (prediabetes, insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome). We performed a systematic search in the databases PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science in January 2016. Inclusion criteria included randomized controlled trials in which the amount of egg consumed was manipulated and compared to a control group that received no-egg or low-egg diets (<2 eggs/week). We found 10 articles (6 original trials) that met our inclusion criteria. The majority of studies found that egg consumption did not affect major CVD risk factors. Consumption of 6 to 12 eggs per week had no impact on plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, insulin or C-reactive protein in all studies that reported these outcomes in comparison with control groups. An increase in high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol with egg consumption was observed in 4 of 6 studies. Results from randomized controlled trials suggest that consumption of 6 to 12 eggs per week, in the context of a diet that is consistent with guidelines on cardiovascular health promotion, has no adverse effect on major CVD risk factors in individuals at risk for developing diabetes or with type 2 diabetes. However, heterogeneities in study design, population included and interventions prevent firm conclusions from being drawn.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; cholestérol alimentaire; diabète de type 2; dietary cholesterol; eggs; maladie cardiovasculaire; metabolic syndrome; review; revue; syndrome métabolique; type 2 diabetes; œufs.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / adverse effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Eggs* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status / physiology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards*
  • Risk Factors


  • Cholesterol, Dietary