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J Am Coll Nutr. 2018 Feb;37(2):140-148. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2017.1365026. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Compared to an Oatmeal Breakfast, Two Eggs/Day Increased Plasma Carotenoids and Choline without Increasing Trimethyl Amine N-Oxide Concentrations.

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a Department of Nutritional Sciences , University of Connecticut , Storrs , Connecticut , USA.
b Universidad de Sinaloa , Culiacan , Sinaloa , Mexico.
c Division of Nutritional Sciences , Cornell University , Ithaca , New York , USA.



Habitual consumption of eggs has been hypothesized to positively modify biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk through proposed antioxidant properties.


To examine this relationship, 50 young, healthy men and women were enrolled into a randomized crossover clinical intervention.


Participants consumed either 2 eggs per day or one packet of oatmeal a day for 4 weeks, followed by a 3-week wash-out and crossed over to the alternate breakfast. Fasting blood samples and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected at the end of each intervention period.


Increases in plasma large high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and large low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle concentrations as measured by nuclear magnetic resonance were found following egg consumption (p < 0.001, p < 0.05), respectively, with increases in apolipoprotein concentration as well (p < 0.05). Though there was no difference in the intake of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, a significant increase in plasma concentrations of these carotenoids was observed (p < 0.001) after egg consumption. There was no change in lecithin-cholesterol acyl transferase, cholesteryl ester transfer protein, or paroxanase-1 arylesterase activities between breakfast interventions. Dietary and plasma choline were both higher following egg consumption compared to oatmeal consumption (p < 0.001); however, there was no change in plasma trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) concentrations. Two eggs per day had no impact on PBMC gene expression related to cholesterol metabolism, oxidation, or TMAO production.


These results suggest that compared to oatmeal, consumption of 2 eggs for breakfast provided increased plasma carotenoids and improved biomarkers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk while not affecting TMAO levels in this population.


Choline; TMAO; eggs; lutein; oatmeal; zeaxanthin

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