Cholesterol/LipidsDiet-NutritionHeart Disease

Should you stop eating eggs if your cholesterol is high?

Not according to the results of this study by researchers at Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, in Derby, Connecticut.

First, the details.

  • 40 adults with high cholesterol blood levels were randomly assigned to each treatment group.
    • Phase 1
      • A single dose of 3 medium hardboiled eggs
      • A sausage/cheese breakfast sandwich
    • Phase 2: Participants were then randomly assigned to 1 of the 2 sequences for 6 weeks
      • 2 medium hardboiled eggs daily
      • 1/2 cup of egg substitute daily
  • Each treatment assignment was separated by 4 weeks.

And, the results.

  • Eating 1 egg had no effect on endothelial function (blood vessel dilation) compared to sausage/cheese.
  • Eating an egg substitute for 6 weeks significantly improved endothelial function compared to eating an egg and it lowered total cholesterol blood levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Egg consumption was found to be non-detrimental to endothelial function and serum lipids in hyperlipidemic adults, while egg substitute consumption was beneficial.”

While rich in cholesterol, over the short term, eating an egg had no effect on cholesterol levels. On the other hand, it’s not associated with any improvement in cholesterol.

The authors also tell us, “Little, if any, epidemiological evidence exists supporting a direct link between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease or mortality risk. Previous studies have shown weak positive associations between intake of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol, while others failed to find any association.”

2/12/11 20:16 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.