Does Eating Eggs Raise My Cholesterol Level?

  Tags: health   diet   cholesterol   dairy foods   egg consumption   eggs


Unscrambling the Mystery about Eggs

There is a lot of controversy and confusion but it makes are good or bad for your cholesterol. Eggs are high in cholesterol, and that diet high in cholesterol can contribute to elevated blood cholesterol levels. But it doesn't stop there. The extent to which dietary cholesterol raises blood cholesterol levels isn't clear. Many scientists believe that saturated fats and trans fats have a greater impact than those dietary cholesterol in raising blood cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol is the cholesterol that is in the food you eat. Blood cholesterol is the amount of cholesterol running through your bloodstream usually measured in milligrams per liter of blood.

Daily Intake

One large egg has about 213 mg of cholesterol. The recommended daily dietary cholesterol intake should be less than 300 mg per day. People with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or high cholesterol readings, should limit their intake of dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day. Therefore, eating one egg per day is okay as long as you limit or avoid other sources of cholesterol to the rest of that day.[1]

What Does the Research Say?

Some research findings have been undertaken to determine effective cholesterol intake on the level in the body. For example, 13 patients at a hospital in Oakland California were fed the equivalent in egg yolks of that found in 15 eggs per day for three weeks. The blood cholesterol levels did not increase slightly in any except to bed ridden, obese patients. For other patients in the study actually showed a slight decrease in cholesterol levels.

In another study researchers followed 600 Irishmen between the ages of 30 and 60 but lived in Boston for more than 10 years and their brothers would never left the country of Ireland. The Irish Brothers it about twice as many eggs as the American brothers-averaging over 14 per week. Yet, the Irish Brothers had lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, and their hearts were rated from 2 to 6 times healthier. The same Harvard doctor examined both groups. More physical exercise was given as possible reason for this difference.

And finally, a cardiologist in New York specializing in metabolic disorders treated over 8000 patients. He lowered the blood cholesterol in 63% of his patients with a diet high in meat, milk, and eggs. This doctor believed that 95% of all heart trouble is associated with high serum triglycerides (blood sugar) and attributes staggering increase in sugar consumption-up from 7 pounds per person per year in 1840, to over 100 pounds today! It was also concluded that there is little doubt that high blood serum cholesterol levels are related to higher incidence of heart disease. But there is considerable variation in individuals ability to handle cholesterol. Most people appear to be able to regulate the production of cholesterol in the body according to dietary changes; others cannot. For those who cannot, special precautions need to be taken.[2]

In Summary

In summary, most of the research says there is insufficient evidence to suggest dietary cholesterol significantly increases blood cholesterol, or that consuming eggs should be restricted for that reason. But remember individuals are different, some people can handle cholesterol better than others. According to the February 2009 nutrition bulletin in a paper entitled eggs in dietary cholesterol-dispelling the myth professors Bruce Griffin and Julia Grey reviewed studies of egg consumption, dietary cholesterol and heart disease risk. The following conclusions were drawn:

There appears to be an association between dietary cholesterol and coronary heart disease because saturated fat and cholesterol co-exist in fatty foods.
Dietary cholesterol can increase LDL Bad cholesterol a small amount, but the effect is clinically insignificant, and the effect of saturated fat is far greater.
Evidence does not suggest the small increase in blood cholesterol caused by dietary cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease.
Eating eggs may increase HDL cholesterol, counteracting the effect of LDL cholesterol on heart disease risk.[3]


Arguments For

Yes, eating eggs causes high cholesterol

Middle-aged men who ate seven or more eggs a week had a higher risk of an earlier death[4]
Eating eggs too often can cause your child to have a diet that is high in cholesterol[5]
Eating just one egg takes up too much of my daily allowance of cholesterol

Arguments Against

No, eating eggs does not cause high cholesterol

Evidence shows eating eggs does not significantly increase cholesterol levels[3]
Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein
An egg breakfast helps promote weight loss[6]


 1  I'm Confused. Our Thanks Good or Bad for My Cholesterol? High Blood Cholesterol September 9, 2009 Mayo Clinic
 2  Eggs and Cholesterol Incubation and Embryology September 10, 2009 University Of Illinois Extension
 3  Eggs, High Cholesterol Levels and Heart Disease Food Facts April 29, 2009 Kirby, S. Suite 101
 4  Eating Eggs Will Kill You Archives April 9, 2008 Joyner, J. Outside the Beltway
 5  Eggs in Child Nutrition Pediatrics November 27, 2003 Iannelli, V. MD About.com
 6  Eggs Food List September 9, 2009 The World's Healthiest Foods Whfoods.org

User Comments & Opinion


5 Voted Yes

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I think it does, but I am not sure. - stonecoldvt (twitter) 0
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I think for some people it does. - mikeROD2020 (twitter) 0

4 Voted No

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I love eggs and every annual checkup my cholesterol levels are fine. - jennyhooah (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
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