Cardio­metabolic Health

Cardiometabolic health is a relatively new term that encompasses cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Collectively, such conditions are the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. They all share similar risk factors (e.g., overweight/obesity, elevated blood pressure) which can be modified by diet and lifestyle choices. The available evidence indicates that eggs, when consumed as part of an overall healthy diet pattern, do not affect risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. Recent recommendations from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and American Diabetes Association do not limit egg or cholesterol intake, a change from earlier guidance from these organizations. In fact, several global health organizations, including Health Canada, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Australian Heart Foundation and the Irish Heart Foundation, promote eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Given the public health significance of understanding cardiometabolic diseases, research on risk reduction remains an active area of pursuit. For example:

  • A randomized controlled study in people with metabolic syndrome showed that those consuming three whole eggs per day as part of a reduced carbohydrate diet experienced favorable changes in HDL-cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and other aspects of the lipoprotein lipid profile
  • A randomized controlled weight loss trial in people with diagnosed type 2 diabetes showed improved lipid and glucose markers following consumption of 2 eggs per day for 12 weeks.
  • An egg-based breakfast, rich in protein (35% energy; 26.1 g egg protein), promoted glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes relative to a high-carbohydrate breakfast.

Whole Eggs and Cholesterol Absorption

BoiledEggsSalad

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).

Eggs, Cholesterol and Cardiometabolic Health

Eggs, Cholesterol and Diabetes (1)

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: Continue reading “Eggs, Cholesterol and Cardiometabolic Health”

Egg Consumption Positively Affects Glycemic Control and Insulin Sensitivity in Individuals With Pre- and Type II- Diabetes

Egg Study NRU

Featured article in the June, 2018 Issue of Nutrition Research Update; written by Shirin Pourafshar, PhD

The prevalence of type II-diabetes mellitus is increasing in the United States (U.S.).1 Interventions that target the early stages of its pathogenesis (i.e. pre-diabetes) before individuals are diagnosed with type II-diabetes would be ideal for preventing its development. Continue reading “Egg Consumption Positively Affects Glycemic Control and Insulin Sensitivity in Individuals With Pre- and Type II- Diabetes”

Cardioprotective Activities of Whole Eggs in Prediabetic Adults

Article - Cardioprotective Activities of Whole Eggs in Prediabetic Adults

Featured article in the March, 2018 Issue of Nutrition Research Update; written by Josh D. McDonald, PhD Candidate, Ohio State University

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States (US).1 While numerous risk factors contribute to the progression of CVD, epidemiological evidence demonstrates that postprandial hyperglycemia (PPH), or increases in blood sugar following a meal, are a better predictor of CVD-related mortality compared with fasting blood sugar.2 PPH results in the generation of chemicals that impair blood vessel function to increase CVD risk.3 Dietary modification targeting PPH and/or downstream chemicals are leading strategies to limit PPH-mediated increases in CVD risk.4

Continue reading “Cardioprotective Activities of Whole Eggs in Prediabetic Adults”