Background: It is widely agreed that egg consumption only modestly influences serum lipid concentrations. However, there is no meta-analysis summarizing existing randomized controlled trials.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis of published randomized controlled trials to explore the quantitative effect of egg consumption on serum lipid concentrations.
Design: Online databases including MEDLINE, Proquest and Google Scholar were systematically searched. Studies that were published after 2000 and compared serum lipids concentrations in egg-consumers and non egg-consumers were included. The data were obtained from 28 studies. Weighted mean differences were calculated as the ultimate effect using random effects model.
Results: Overall, egg consumption increased total cholesterol (TC) by 5.60 mg/dL (95% CI: 3.11, 8.09; P<0.0001), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) by 5.55 mg/dL (95% CI: 3.14, 7.69; P<0.0001) and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) by 2.13 mg/dL (95% CI: 1.10, 3.16; P<0.0001) compared with the control group. Heterogeneity found between studies was explained partly by study design and participant response to dietary cholesterol. No effect of increased egg consumption on LDL-C:HDL-C and TC:HDL-C ratios, and triglyceride (TG) concentrations were found. No association was observed between number of eggs consumed per day or study duration and any of the serum lipid markers.
Conclusion: Consumption of egg increases total cholesterol, LDL-C and HDL-C, but not LDL-C:HDL-C, TC:HDL-C and TG compared with low egg control diets. To assess the risk of coronary events, future studies should focus on the postprandial effect of egg consumption and effects on coronary risk.
Keywords: Cholesterol; dyslipidemia; egg; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; lipids.