Background: Habitual consumption of eggs has been hypothesized to positively modify biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk through proposed antioxidant properties.
Objectives: To examine this relationship, 50 young, healthy men and women were enrolled into a randomized crossover clinical intervention.
Methods: Participants consumed either 2 eggs per day or one packet of oatmeal a day for 4 weeks, followed by a 3-week wash-out and crossed over to the alternate breakfast. Fasting blood samples and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected at the end of each intervention period.
Results: Increases in plasma large high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and large low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle concentrations as measured by nuclear magnetic resonance were found following egg consumption (p < 0.001, p < 0.05), respectively, with increases in apolipoprotein concentration as well (p < 0.05). Though there was no difference in the intake of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, a significant increase in plasma concentrations of these carotenoids was observed (p < 0.001) after egg consumption. There was no change in lecithin-cholesterol acyl transferase, cholesteryl ester transfer protein, or paroxanase-1 arylesterase activities between breakfast interventions. Dietary and plasma choline were both higher following egg consumption compared to oatmeal consumption (p < 0.001); however, there was no change in plasma trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) concentrations. Two eggs per day had no impact on PBMC gene expression related to cholesterol metabolism, oxidation, or TMAO production.
Conclusions: These results suggest that compared to oatmeal, consumption of 2 eggs for breakfast provided increased plasma carotenoids and improved biomarkers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk while not affecting TMAO levels in this population.
Keywords: Choline; TMAO; eggs; lutein; oatmeal; zeaxanthin.