Contribution of Eggs and Other Cholesterol-containing Foods to Total Dietary Cholesterol Intake, and Their Influence on Serum Lipid Profile of Adults in Calabar, Nigeria

Main Article Content

Eridiong O. Onyenweaku
Henrietta N. Ene-Obong
Gregory E. Oko
Ima O. Williams


Aim: Eggs have sometimes been regarded as unhealthy foods due to their relatively high cholesterol content. The aim of this study is to determine contribution of eggs and other    cholesterol containing food to total dietary cholesterol and their influence on serum lipid profile of adults.

Study Design: Cross sectional and experimental.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Biochemistry, University of Calabar, Calabar. February to July 2017.

Methodology: A cross-sectional survey to determine consumption pattern was carried out on 400 respondents using food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and 24 hour dietary recall. The respondents were further grouped into four based on their reported weekly egg consumption. A detailed follow-up study was conducted on 50 participants selected from across the 4 groups, using a 3-day repeated 24 hour dietary recall to determine their consumption of egg and other cholesterol-containing foods. Serum blood lipid profile of these 50 participants was also determined using Randox cholesterol test kits. Food composition tables were used to calculate dietary cholesterol intake (DCI). The mean DCI of the 4 groups were cross-tabulated with mean serum cholesterol levels. Percentage contribution of eggs and other frequently consumed cholesterol-containing foods (such as milk and fish) to total DCI was calculated. Statistical significance was accepted at p = .05.

Results: For the follow-up participants, it was observed that results of correlations between DCI and the lipid profile parameters showed negative correlation (at p = .01) in both males and females, except slight positive correlations between cholesterol intake and HDL-c (r=0.191) among the males, and cholesterol with TC (r=0.265) among the females. Apart from this, no association was observed between DCI and the lipid profile parameters. Furthermore, the > 5eggs/week group had the lowest TC and LDL-c (4.23±0.19 mmol/L and 2.38±0.10 mmol/L). Based on the respondents’ consumption patterns, eggs (boiled and fried) contributed the highest- 34.8% to total DCI, followed by milk (15.9%); salad cream contributed lowest (0.3%) to total DCI.

Conclusion: Increased DCI from cholesterol-containing foods (such as eggs), did not cause an adverse increase in serum cholesterol levels of normocholesterolemic people.

Blood lipid profile, eggs, cholesterol, foods

Article Details

How to Cite
Onyenweaku, E., Ene-Obong, H., Oko, G., & Williams, I. (2019). Contribution of Eggs and Other Cholesterol-containing Foods to Total Dietary Cholesterol Intake, and Their Influence on Serum Lipid Profile of Adults in Calabar, Nigeria. European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, 9(4), 329-340.
Original Research Article


FAO, IFAD & WFP. The state of food insecurity in the world. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome; 2014.

Bhatnagar D, Soran H, Durrington PN. Hypercholesterolaemia and its manage-ment. British Medical Journal. 2008;337: a993.

American Health Association, AHA. Diet and lifestyle recommendations; 2008.

FAO. Combating micronutrient deficiencies: Food-based approaches. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Eds B. Thompson and L. Amoroso; 2013.

Mann J, Truswell S. Essentials of human nutrition. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press Inc., New York; 2002.

Li Y, Zhou X, Li L. Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes: A meta analysis. Althero-sclerosis. 2013;229:524-530.

Timberlake KC. General organic & biological chemistry. Pearson, USA; 2004.

Cancer Care Ontario. Cancer fact: Cancer and other chronic diseases share several risk factors; 2012.

World Health Organization. Diet, nutrition, and the prevention of chronic diseases. Report of a WHO Study Group. General (WHO Technical Report Series, No. 797); 1990.

NCD Alliance. Unhealthy diets and obesity. A WHO Attachment: Fact Sheet; 2016.

Lopez AD, Mathers CD, Ezzati M, Mamison DT, Murray CJ. Global and regional burden of disease and risk factors, 2001: Systematic analysis of population health data. Lancet. 2006; 367(9524):1747–1757.

World Health Organization. Global Health Observatory (GHO) data > Reports > World Health Statistics; 2015.

World Health Organization. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Country Profiles; 2014.

Gray J, Griffin B. Eggs and dietary cholesterol dispelling the myth. British Nutrition Foundation. Nutrition Bulletin. 2009;34:66-70.

Weggemans RM, Zock PL, Katan MB. Dietary cholesterol from eggs increases the ratio of total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein cholesterol in humans: Meta analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2001;73(5):885-891.

Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB. A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1999;281(15):1387-1394.

Bartlette JE, Kotrlik JW, Higgins CC. Organizationl research: Determining appropriate sample size in survey research. Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal. 2001;19(1):43-50.

Akpa MR, Agomouh DI, Alasia DD. Lipid profile of healthy adult Nigerians in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Medicine. 2006;15(2):137-140.

Gibson RS. Principles of nutritional assessment (2nd Ed.). New York, New York: Oxford University Press; 2005.

FAO. West African Food Composition Table. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Rome, Italy; 2012.

USDA. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23, Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page; 2016.

Onyenweaku EO, Ene-Obong HN, Inyang MI, Williams IO. Cholesterol and fatty acid profiles of some bird egg varieties: Possible health implication. Asian Food Science Journal. 2018;3(4):1-9.

Brown L, Rosner B, Walter WW, Sacks FM. Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fibre: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1999;69:30–42.

Turley SD, West CE, Horton BJ. The role of ascorbic acid in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism and in the pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis. 1976;24:1-18.

Olivoros LB, Domeniconi MA, Vega VA, Gatica LV, Brigada AM, Gimenez MS. Vitamin A deficiency modifies lipid metabolism in rat liver. British Journal of Nutrition. 2007;97(2):263-272.

Natoli S, Markovic T, Lim D, Noakes M, Kotsner K. Unscrambling the research: Eggs, serum cholesterol and coronary heart disease. Nutrition and Dietetics. 2007;64:105-111.

McNamara DJ. The impact of egg limitations on coronary heart disease risk: Do the numbers add up? Journal of American College Nutrition. 2000;19:540-548.

USDA. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23, Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page; 2010.