Incredible, edible egg but so high in cholesterol

If it wasn’t for its high content of cholesterol, egg yolks would be regarded more strongly as one of nature’s health powerhouses [1]. And, if regularly eaten, the egg would go a long way of ensuring against different nutritional deficiencies [1].

Hope has come for a more incredible, edible egg…

If soluble fiber and red yeast rice works on humans to lower cholesterol, why not chickens? They do. Soluble fiber has been shown to significantly impact the amount of total cholesterol in eggs [2]. And a study in China revealed that chickens fed red yeast rice produced egg yolks with significantly less triglycerides and LDL cholesterol [3].

In addition, eggs fortified with omega-3 oils are now a popular marketplace novelty and a welcome approach. Although omega-3 fortification won’t change egg cholesterol content, it may help improve its profile for heart health [4].

Contrary to popular opinion, switching to quail eggs would not be beneficial since their cholesterol content is similar to that of chicken eggs [5].

1. Nutrition Data. Available at: Accessed on November 26, 2008.

2. McNaughton JL. Effect of Dietary Fiber on Egg Yolk, Liver, and Plasma Cholesterol Concentrations of the Laying Hen. J Nutr. Available at: Accessed on November 26, 2008.

3. Wang J, Pan T. Effect of red mold rice supplements on serum and egg yolk cholesterol levels of laying hens. Available at: Accessed on November 26, 2008.

4. Manitoba Agriculture and Rural Initiatives. Increasing Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Eggs from Small Chicken Flocks. Avaialable at: Accessed on November 26, 2008.

5. Bragagnolo N, Rodriguez-Amaya DB. Comparison of the cholesterol content of Brazilian chicken and quail eggs. J Food Comp Anal. Available at: Accessed on November 25, 2008.

Published by David Despain, MS, CFS

David is a science and health writer living on Long Island, New York. He's written for a variety of publications including Scientific American, Outside Online, the American Society for Nutrition's (ASN) Nutrition Notes Daily, and Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Food Technology magazine and Live! blog. He's also covered new findings reported at scientific meetings including Experimental Biology, AAAS, AOCS, CASW, Sigma Xi, IFT, and others on his personal blog "Evolving Health." David is also an active member of organizations including the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society for Nutrition, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the National Audubon Society. David has a master's degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and a bachelor's degree in English from University of Illinois at Springfield. He also earned his Certified Food Scientist credential from the Institute of Food Technologists.

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