If you’ve ever read the nutrition facts on a carton of eggs, you’ve probably noticed the seemingly outrageous cholesterol level. Reading that each egg contains more than 60% of your daily recommended amount of cholesterol may cause you to reconsider that three-egg omelet in the dining hall, but recent studies should convince you otherwise. For the past few decades, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has warned consumers that high cholesterol intake could lead to heart disease and obesity. New research, however, suggests that there is no relationship between the dietary cholesterol in eggs and the dangerous cholesterol that leads to health complications.

New research, however, suggests that there is no relationship between the dietary cholesterol in eggs and the dangerous cholesterol that leads to health complications.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance the body utilizes in the production of hormones, vitamin D and other substances that aid in digestion (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute). There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). While HDL, otherwise known as “good” cholesterol, collects and carries cholesterol to the liver where it is processed and removed from the body, LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, can lead to buildup of plaques in arteries.

Consequently, HDL cholesterol actually decreases your chances of developing heart disease whereas LDL cholesterol increases this risk (NHLBI). Although eggs do contain cholesterol, this cholesterol does not upset the balance of HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in your body because there is enough HDL cholesterol in the eggs to carry the LDL cholesterol to the liver, thus removing the “bad” cholesterol from the body. The HDL cholesterol essentially compensates for the LDL cholesterol, making eggs safe for consumption.

Now go and eat your omelet in peace.

Sources

1. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/19/us-usa-health-diet-idUSKBN0LN21O20150219
2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/cholesterol/faq-20058468
3. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc
4. http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/nutrition/article/sunny-side-eggs

About The Author

This is my second year working with Innovation. I am currently an editor of the health section, but my main scientific interests lie in energy and sustainability (environmental engineering whooo). I hope that Innovation succeeds in making science news both interesting and accessible to all students on campus. Besides Innovation, my other interests include: the weather, the ocean, chemistry, food, puns, funny pictures on the internet, snowball fights, and coffee.