Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.47(6) > 1081358

J Nutr Health. 2014 Dec;47(6):385-393. Korean.
Published online December 31, 2014.
© 2014 The Korean Nutrition Society
Nutritional roles and health effects of eggs
Eun Ju Yang,1 Young Eun Lee,2 and Hyun-Kyung Moon3
1Department of Food and Nutrition, Honam University, Gwangju 506-714, Korea.
2Department of Food and Nutrition, Wonkwang University, Iksan 570-749, Korea.
3Department of Food and Nutrition, Dankook University, Yongin 448-701, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. (Email: )
Received October 29, 2014; Accepted December 05, 2014.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



The aim of this study is to examine the effects of egg consumption and suggest proper guidelines for consumption of eggs by determining the relationship between eggs and cholesterol.


Literature review was conducted on the relationship between nutritional, functional properties of eggs and serum cholesterol, as well as cardiovascular disease.


Eggs, which are a good protein food with complete amino acid composition, contain vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, iron, choline, selenium, β-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, etc. However the egg yolk has a high cholesterol content, which is associated with chronic diseases, including heart disease and hypertension. As a result, its intake is subject to regulation. Outbreak of heart disease by yolk intake can show different results depending on the characteristics of the subjects, amount of egg intake, and the implications of other foods eaten. It is difficult to determine whether eggs are beneficial, as they are the main supplying source for other major nutritive elements as well. Several research studies insist that when cholesterol intake increases by 100 mg, the level of serum cholesterol increases by 2.2~4.5 mg/dL and when serum cholesterol increases by 1%, the risk of heart disease increases by 2%. This indicates that a large intake of eggs can increase the risk of heart disease. Although the cholesterol of egg yolk and serum cholesterol are correlated, it is insufficient to conclude that only cholesterol and not other components are related to heart disease. In fact, other components in egg such as various unsaturated fatty acids and phospholipids could be related as well. Rather than concluding egg as a 'good' or 'bad' food according to its cholesterol content, it is important to define egg as a part of dietary patterns.


Generalizing an indiscriminate and uniform amount of egg intake for all seems inadequate. However, patients with diabetes or heart disease should pay particular attention to the amount of egg intake. As for the norm, eating egg with vegetables as a substitute for other animal products seems beneficial.

Keywords: eggs; serum cholesterol; cardiovascular diseases; guidelines


Table 1
Nutrition composition of representative animal foods (per 100g edible portion)1)
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Table 2
Contribution of eggs to the Korean diet (per one egg)1)
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Table 3
Comparison of protein quality of foods1)
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Table 4
Protein digestibility of foods1)
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Table 5
Fat amount of representative animal foods (per 100g edible portion)1)
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Table 6
The effects of egg consumption to coronary heart disease risk
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This work was supported by grants from National Agricultural Cooperative Federation.

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