Two dozen eggs please … hold the bacon - report on an elderly man who eats 25 eggs a day and yet maintains a normal cholesterol
Two dozen eggs please ... hold the bacon
An elderly man with a mammoth appetite for eggs serves as an extreme example that some people can eat large amounts of cholesterol-laden foods without harming their health.
In the March 28 NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, gastroenterologist Fred Kern Jr. of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver describes an 88-year-old retirement-home resident who has consumed an average of 25 eggs daily for more than 15 years -- yet maintains normal levels of blood cholesterol. The man, diagnosed with a compulsive eating disorder, keeps a running tally of the two dozen softboiled eggs he methodically ingests throughout the day. He eats an otherwise normal diet and is of average weight.
Kern says the man's body has "extremely efficient compensatory mechanisms" that allow him to cope with the quantity of cholesterol he consumes. Not only do his intestines absorb only 18 percent of the cholesterol he ingests--50 to 60 percent is more normal -- but his liver also produces twice the normal level of the acids, breakdown products of cholesterol.
Margaret Flynn, a clinical dietician at the University of Missouri in Columbia, says the man's healthy cholesterol level is not surprising. "All of the studies we have done showed no effect [on blood cholesterol] of high egg consumption in a normal diet," she told SCIENCE NEWS.