Do eggs raise cholesterol?

The presence of ovomucin, a natural trypsin inhibitor in eggs, can help block some of egg cholesterol absorption and bile acid reabsorption through enterohepatic circulation (1). Despite ovomucin, however, there does appear to be enough dietary cholesterol in eggs absorbed that can potentially cause increased cholesterol levels (2;3).

Reference List
1. Nagaoka S, Masaoka M, Zhang Q, Hasegawa M, Watanabe K. Egg ovomucin attenuates hypercholesterolemia in rats and inhibits cholesterol absorption in Caco-2 cells. Lipids 2002;37:267-72.
2. Levy Y, Maor I, Presser D, Aviram M. Consumption of eggs with meals increases the susceptibility of human plasma and low-density lipoprotein to lipid peroxidation. Ann Nutr Metab 1996;40:243-51.
3. Applebaum-Bowden D, Hazzard WR, Cain J, Cheung MC, Kushwaha RS, Albers JJ. Short-term egg yolk feeding in humans. Increase in apolipoprotein B and low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Atherosclerosis 1979;33:385-96.

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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