Eggs and a Fiber-Rich Diet Are Beneficially Associated with Lipid Levels in Framingham Offspring Study Adults

Xinyi Zhou, 2024, Eggs and a Fiber-Rich Diet Are Beneficially Associated with Lipid Levels in Framingham Offspring Study Adults, Curr Dev Nutr, DOI: 10.1016/j.cdnut.2023.102062

Background: For many years, United States' dietary policy recommended limiting egg intake to no more than 3/wk in the belief that restricting dietary cholesterol would lower plasma cholesterol levels and thereby reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The evidence supporting these recommendations is controversial.

Objectives: To examine the impact of eggs, a major contributor to dietary cholesterol intake, on lipid levels and to determine whether these egg effects are modified by other healthy dietary factors in adults.

Methods: Males and females aged 30-64 y with available 3-d diet record data, without cardiovascular disease and not taking lipid- or glucose-lowering medications in the prospective Framingham Offspring cohort were included (n = 1852). Analysis of covariance models were used to compare mean follow-up lipid levels adjusting for age, sex, BMI, and dietary factors. Cox proportional hazard's models were used to estimate risk for elevated lipid levels.

Results: Consuming ≥5 eggs/wk was not adversely associated with lipid outcomes. Among men, consuming ≥5 (compared with <0.5) eggs/wk was associated with an 8.6 mg/dL lower total cholesterol level and a 5.9 mg/dL lower LDL cholesterol level, as well as lower triglycerides. Overall, higher egg intake combined with higher dietary fiber (compared with lower intakes of both) was associated with the lowest total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol-to-HDL cholesterol ratio. Finally, diets with higher (compared with lower) egg intakes in combination with higher total fish or fiber intakes, respectively, were associated with lower risks of developing elevated (>160 mg/dL) LDL cholesterol levels (hazard ratio: 0.61; 95% confidence interval: 0.44, 0.84; and HR: 0.70; 95% confidence interval: 0.49, 0.98, respectively).

Conclusions: Higher egg intakes were beneficially associated with serum lipids among healthy adults, particularly those who consumed more fish and dietary fiber.

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