Does cholesterol intake impact cardiometabolic health? Two prospective studies from Boston University School of Medicine show no link between dietary cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. The findings, published in the journal Nutrients, use data from the Framingham Offspring Study to analyze the effects of dietary cholesterol intake over a 20-year period:
- Data from 2,192 participants was evaluated to estimate the effects of dietary cholesterol on risk of type 2 diabetes or impaired fasting glucose (IFG). The results showed no significant differences in glucose levels across dietary cholesterol intake categories (<200, 200–300, or ≥300 mg/day) and no increased risk of type 2 diabetes or IFG associated with higher intakes. Researchers did find that participants with lower intakes of ﬁsh, whole grains, and ﬁber had higher type 2 diabetes and IFG risk.
- Data for 993 men and women (ages 35-65 yrs) was used to determine if dietary cholesterol has adverse cardiovascular effects among participants with type 2 diabetes. There was no association between dietary cholesterol intake and fasting low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), LDL/HDL ratio, or triglycerides. In fact, after adjusting for confounding by other lifestyle factors, those with higher dietary cholesterol intakes had lower long-term risk of developing CVD.
These studies provide further support that there is no link between dietary cholesterol intake and cardiometabolic health outcomes. Additionally, they build on findings from a recent randomized clinical trial out of the University of Sydney, where researchers found that eating up to 12 eggs per week for one year did not negatively impact cholesterol for people with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes (read more here).
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association recommend eating patterns that include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-fat dairy products, and eggs can fit within these diets. While continued investigation is needed to better understand cholesterol’s impact on cardiometabolic health, these findings support eggs place in an overall healthy diet.
- Baghdasarian S, Lin HP, Pickering RT, Mott MM, Singer MR, Bradlee ML, Moore LL. Dietary Cholesterol Intake Is Not Associated with Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in the Framingham Offspring Study. Nutrients. 2018 May 24;10(6)
- Lin HP, Baghdasarian S, Singer MR, Mott MM, Bradlee ML, Pickering RT, Moore LL. Dietary Cholesterol, Lipid Levels, and Cardiovascular Risk among Adults with Diabetes or Impaired Fasting Glucose in the Framingham Offspring Study. Nutrients. 2018 Jun 14;10(6).
- Fuller NR, Sainsbury A, Caterson ID, Denyer G, Fong M, Gerofi J, Leung C, Lau NS, Williams KH, Januszewski S, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2018;107:1-11.