Research: BOVET and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 153


BOVET and co-workers, Unit for Prevention and Control of Cardiovascular Disease, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Victoria, Seychelles, USA,, have found that feeding chickens with fish oil affects the lipid profile of those who eat the eggs.


n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids convey several health benefits, including a reduction of serum concentration of triglycerides. The aim of this study was to examine the effect on blood lipids, particularly triglycerides, of a diet with n-3 fatty acid enriched eggs in healthy volunteers in the Seychelles (Indian Ocean).


In this double-blind crossover trial, one group of volunteers were fed with 5 normal eggs per week during 3 weeks followed by 5 enriched eggs per week during the next 3 weeks, while the other group received eggs in the inverse sequence. Hen feed was supplemented at 5% with tuna oil. Enriched eggs contained nine times more n-3 fatty acids than usual eggs (mainly docosahexaenoic acid).


25 healthy volunteers participated in the study. Based on pooled results observed during the two 3-week periods, consumption of enriched eggs was associated with a significant 16-18% decrease in serum triglycerides (p < 0.01) but with no significant difference in serum LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol. Serum LDL-cholesterol increased during the first 3-week period and decreased during the second 3-week period with both normal and enriched eggs. Participants did not report a systematic preference for either type of eggs.


Reasonable consumption of n-3 fatty acid enriched eggs was associated with a significant decrease in serum triglycerides. These eggs could be a palatably acceptable source of n-3 fatty acids.


Bovet P et al. Decrease in blood triglycerides associated with the consumption of eggs of hens fed with food supplemented with fish oil. Nutrition Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases 17 (4): 280-287, May 2007.


One wonders if the fish oil is equally palatably acceptable to the hens. Do they really have to eat fish oil just so that people can continue their unhealthy eating habits?

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