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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Whole egg consumption compared with yolk-free egg increases the cholesterol efflux capacity of high-density lipoproteins in overweight, postmenopausal women.

  • Author(s): Sawrey-Kubicek, Lisa
  • Zhu, Chenghao
  • Bardagjy, Allison S
  • Rhodes, Christopher H
  • Sacchi, Romina
  • Randolph, Jody M
  • Steinberg, Francene M
  • Zivkovic, Angela M
  • et al.

Postmenopausal women are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) than their younger counterparts. HDL cholesterol is a biomarker for CVD risk, but the function of HDL may be more important than HDL cholesterol in deciphering disease risk. Although diet continues to be a cornerstone of treatment and prevention of CVD, little is known about how diet affects the functionality of HDL. The aim of this study was to characterize the effects of whole eggs compared with yolk-free eggs on HDL function and composition in overweight, postmenopausal women and determine how changes in HDL composition are related to HDL functional parameters. The study was a 14-wk, single-blind, randomized crossover dietary trial with two 4-wk intervention periods in 20 overweight, postmenopausal women. The crossover treatments were frozen breakfast meals containing 100 g of liquid (∼2) whole eggs compared with 100 g of (∼2) yolk-free eggs per day, separated by a 4-wk washout. Fasting blood samples were taken at the beginning and end of each treatment period to determine the effects on HDL composition and function. Cholesterol efflux capacity increased in the whole-egg treatment (mean ± SD percentage change: +5.69% ± 9.9%) compared with the yolk-free egg treatment (-3.69% ± 5.3%) (P < 0.01), but there were no other significant changes in HDL functions or antioxidant or inflammatory markers. ApoA-I, total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol also did not change in response to the egg treatment. The consumption of 2 whole eggs/d by overweight, postmenopausal women showed a significant increase in cholesterol efflux capacity. This increase in cholesterol efflux capacity was seen without significant changes in apoA-I, TC, LDL cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol, supporting the idea that HDL function rather than HDL cholesterol should be addressed in this population. This trial was registered at as NCT02445638.

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