Dietary cholesterol intake from whole eggs has shown to elicit a highly variable impact on blood cholesterol levels, with approximately two-thirds of the population having a minimal or no response. This has certainly effected a shift in modern day thinking regarding dietary cholesterol. Why wouldn’t dietary intake directly affect body levels? A recent study in Nutrients delved further into the relationship between cholesterol in eggs and plasma cholesterol levels by measuring how cholesterol is absorbed immediately after a meal.
To measure how cholesterol is absorbed after a meal, the investigators measured changes in cholesterol concentrations in triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein (TRL) fractions. Cholesterol in TRL’s represent newly absorbed cholesterol, and are a better indicator of recently absorbed cholesterol than standard blood cholesterol measures that are performed in a fasting state.
This study combined two previous investigations in which researchers assessed a group of men and a group of women who ate meals of vegetables with canola oil, with either no egg or with varying amounts of cooked whole egg added. TRL fractions were measured after each meal, with the goal of assessing cholesterol absorption from eggs.
The researchers concluded: “The findings from the current two studies indicate that the dietary cholesterol found in whole eggs may not be well absorbed and does not acutely affect plasma total cholesterol concentration.”
The study authors suggest that compounds in egg yolk and egg white protein may work together to limit cholesterol absorption. This is great news for people who want to reap health benefits from eating whole eggs. Click here to read more about the unique nutrient package in eggs.
Reference: Kim JE, Campbell WW. Dietary Cholesterol Contained in Whole Eggs Is Not Well Absorbed and Does Not Acutely Affect Plasma Total Cholesterol Concentration in Men and Women: Results from 2 Randomized Controlled Crossover Studies. Nutrients. 2018 Sep 9;10(9).