Impact of whole egg intake on blood pressure, lipids and lipoproteins in middle-aged and older population: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2019 Jul;29(7):653-664. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2019.04.004. Epub 2019 Apr 20.


Background and aim: Effects of whole egg consumption on cardiovascular diseases (CVD) risk in the middle-aged and older population remain unclear due to inconsistent findings from observational and randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This meta-analysis aimed to assess the impacts of whole egg and egg category (whole eggs versus egg substitutes) intake quantity on CVD risk factors from systematically searched RCTs. Egg substitutes were hypothesized to have minimal effects of the blood lipid and lipoprotein profile as they are void of dietary cholesterol.

Methods and results: As many as 434 studies identified from PubMed, Cochrane Library, CINAHL and Medline (Ovid) databases were screened and data were extracted from 8 selected RCTs. Quality of the selected studies were assessed and the overall effect sizes of weighted mean differences (WMD) were calculated using a random effects model. Non-differential effects in blood pressures, lipids and lipoproteins were observed when >4 whole eggs/week compared to ≤4 whole eggs/week were consumed. Intake of >4 whole eggs/week compared to equivalent amounts of egg substitutes caused greater elevations in blood total cholesterol (WMD: 0.198 mmol/L; 95% CIs: 0.056, 0.339), HDL cholesterol (WMD: 0.068 mmol/L; 95% CIs: 0.006, 0.130) and LDL cholesterol (WMD: 0.171 mmol/L; 95% CIs: 0.028, 0.315) but did not differentially affect triglycerides concentration.

Conclusion: Overall, the results support the notion that quantity of whole egg intake does not affect CVD risk factors and consuming egg substitutes may also be beneficial compared to whole eggs on lowering CVD risk in the middle-aged and older population.

Keywords: Blood lipids and lipoproteins; Blood pressure; Cardiovascular disease; Dietary cholesterol; Egg category; Middle-aged and older adults; Whole eggs.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / adverse effects
  • Eggs* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins