Consuming a Buttermilk Drink Containing Lutein-Enriched Egg Yolk Daily for 1 Year Increased Plasma Lutein but Did Not Affect Serum Lipid or Lipoprotein Concentrations in Adults with Early Signs of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

S. van der Made, E.R. Kelly, T.T. Berendschot, A. Kijlstra, D. Lutjohann, J. Plat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Dietary lutein intake is postulated to interfere with the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Because egg yolk-derived lutein has a high bioavailability, long-term consumption of lutein-enriched eggs might be effective in preventing AMD development, but alternatively might increase cardiovascular disease risk. Here, we report the effect of 1-y daily consumption of a buttermilk drink containing 1.5 lutein-rich egg yolks on serum lipid, lipoprotein, and plasma lutein concentrations. Additionally, subgroups that could potentially benefit most from the intervention were identified. Men and women who had early signs of AMD in at least 1 eye, but were otherwise healthy, participated in a 1-y randomized, placebo-controlled parallel intervention trial. At the start of the study, 101 participants were included: 52 in the experimental (Egg) group and 49 in the control (Con) group. Final analyses were performed with 45 participants in the Egg group and 43 participants in the Con group. As expected, the increase in plasma lutein concentrations in the Egg group was 83% higher than that in the Con group (P < 0.001). Changes in serum total cholesterol and HDL and LDL cholesterol, as well as the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol, were not different between the 2 groups. Interestingly, participants classified as cholesterol absorbers had higher serum HDL cholesterol concentrations than participants classified as cholesterol synthesizers or participants with average campesterol-to-lathosterol ratios (P < 0.05) at baseline. In addition, cholesterol absorbers had a 229% higher increase in plasma lutein concentrations than participants who were classified as having an average campesterol-to-lathosterol ratio (P < 0.05) upon consumption of the lutein-enriched egg yolk drink. Moreover, the change in serum HDL cholesterol upon consumption was significantly different between these 3 groups (P < 0.05). We suggest that cholesterol absorbers particularly might benefit from the lutein-enriched buttermilk drink. This study was registered at as NCT00902408.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1370-1377
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014



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