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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.
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