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Atherosclerosis. 1985 Oct;57(1):19-31.

Reproducibility of the variations between humans in the response of serum cholesterol to cessation of egg consumption.


To find out whether the variable response of serum cholesterol levels to changes in cholesterol intake in man is due to constitutional differences in responsiveness, we have reinvestigated in 1982 34 healthy men and women, who habitually consumed at least 1 egg/day and had participated in a trial in 1976. Serum cholesterol was measured on the habitual diet (about 800 mg cholesterol/day), and after 3 weeks during which no eggs or egg-containing products were consumed (about 300 mg cholesterol/day). Serum cholesterol decreased by 0.16 +/- 0.42 mmol/1 (6 +/- 16 mg/dl) in 1976 and by 0.31 +/- 0.35 mmol/l (12 +/- 14 mg/dl) in 1982 (mean +/- SD). Individual responses varied from -1.0 to +0.5 mmol/l (-39 to +19 mg/dl). The correlation between the responses in 1976 and 1982 was r = 0.32 (P less than 0.05). The decrease in serum cholesterol was most pronounced for subjects with a low body mass index and a high level of HDL-cholesterol. In men, the increase in serum cholesterol with age was correlated with the mean decrease in the trials (r = 0.42, n = 16, P = 0.11). In a controlled trial, 4 hypo- and 2 hyperresponders were given 11 mg cholesterol/MJ (11 mg/240 kcal; 116 mg/day) for 4 weeks followed by 72 mg/MJ for another 4 weeks; all other nutrients were kept constant. Almost all food was supplied and intakes were rigidly controlled. The 2 hyperresponders and 3 of the 4 hyporesponders were also hyper- and hyporesponsive under the controlled conditions. We conclude that part of the cholesterolemic response to dietary cholesterol in man is individually determined and stable for at least 6 years.

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