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Egg Cholesterol Depends On What Hen Eats

TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 15 (UPI) — How much cholesterol eggs give a person depend on what the hen laying the eggs eats, researchers in Israel say.

Dr. Niva Shapira of Tel Aviv University’s School of Health Professions and colleagues designed feeds that were high in antioxidants and lower in omega-6 fatty acids, based on wheat, barley and milo.

The specialized feed was given to young hens who had not yet accumulated omega-6 fatty acids in their tissues, and the composition of their eggs was then tested. Once the desired composition of low omega-6 and high antioxidant eggs was achieved they were given to study participants, who were instructed to eat two of these special eggs daily.

Another group ate daily two standard grocery store eggs and another group ate only two to four standard grocery store eggs.

The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found daily consumption of two industry-standard eggs — high in omega-6 — caused a 40 percent increase in low density lipoprotein, the “bad” cholesterol oxidizability in participants.

However, eating two per day of the specially composed eggs, with both high antioxidant and low omega-6 levels, LDL oxidation levels were similar to the control group eating only two to four eggs a week, the study said.

Eggs high in omega-6 fatty acids heighten cholesterol’s tendency to oxidize, which forms dangerous plaque in arteries, Shapira said.

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