Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Nutraceuticals, Functional & Medical Foods, Vol. 4(1) 2003; ; Copyright 2003 by The Haworth Prcss, Inc. Used by permission. doi: 10.1300/J133v04n01_02


This study examined the effectiveness of consuming omega-3 fatty acid-enriched eggs (Omega Eggs) in increasing total diclary omega-3 fatty acids. Also examined was the impact of Omega Egg consumption on serum lipids. Sixteen hypercholesterolemic men and women with baseline serum total cholesterol concentrations of 5.17-7.76 mmol/L (200-300 mg/dL) followed the National Cholesterol Education Program Step I diet guidelines under the following conditions: (a) Step 1 diet without eggs, (b) Step I diet plus 12 regular eggs per week, and (c) Step I diet plus 12 Omega Eggs per week. The study design was a repeated 3 x 3 Latin square so that each subject received each of the three diet treatments. Consumption of Omega Eggs significantly increased omega-3 fatty acid intake (1.18 g/day) compared to consumption of regular eggs (0.71 g/day) or no eggs (0.81 g/day). The Omega Egg treatment did not significantly alter serum cholesterol or triacylglycerol concentration when all 16 subjects were included in the analysis. However, three subjects showed a significant increase in serum total cholesterol concentration when consuming regular eggs relative to no eggs. When these "responders" consumed Omega Eggs, serum tolal cholesterol concentration did not increase, despite a 3-fold increase in cholesterol intake relative to no egg treatment. These data suggest that Omega Eggs (12/week) can be included in the National Cholesterol Education Program Step I diet without increased serum total cholesterol or triacylglycerol concentration. In this way, the nutritional benefits of eggs could be realized without the detrimental effects of increased cholesterol intake.