MENU
 

It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy


 

Ask Dr. Gourmet



Does scrambling eggs oxidize the cholesterol in them?

I have read in a couple of places that scrambled eggs are not good for you. One site said that by scrambling them, the cholesterol will oxidize. I love scrambled eggs so I hope this is not true.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

The idea that oxidization of dietary cholesterol might be an issue comes from a number of sources. The problem is that none of these has been specifically linked to scrambled eggs.

A 2009 study is typical of research that has added to the confusion. Scientists looked at pure cholesterol heated to 320°F for 72 hours. (Yes, that says 72 hours.) After heating, the oxidized cholesterol was fed to hamsters and resulted in less arterial relaxation (Chen Z-Y, et al ACS 2009; AGFD 23). There are three problems with this study that are common issues with similar research looking at this effect. One is that the cholesterol used was not from eggs. Second, it was heated to a very high temperature for a prolonged period. Finally, this study did not use human subjects.

As faithful readers of Dr. Gourmet know, we seldom report on animal studies because they don't always translate well to human health. The good news is that for most of the population, consuming up to 6 eggs per week is fine. Such studies don't discriminate between the types of cooking methods used and my reading of the literature is that eating scrambled eggs occasionally should be just fine for you.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet