Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are often instructed to adhere to a renal-specific diet depending on the severity and stage of their kidney disease. The prescribed diet may limit certain nutrients, such as phosphorus and potassium, or encourage the consumption of others, such as high biological value (HBV) proteins. Eggs are an inexpensive, easily available and high-quality source of protein, as well as a rich source of leucine, an essential amino acid that plays a role in muscle protein synthesis. However, egg yolk is a concentrated source of both phosphorus and the trimethylamine N-oxide precursor, choline, both of which may have potentially harmful effects in CKD. The yolk is also an abundant source of cholesterol which has been extensively studied for its effects on lipoprotein cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Efforts to reduce dietary cholesterol to manage dyslipidemia in dialysis patients (already following a renal diet) have not been shown to offer additional benefit. There is a paucity of data regarding the impact of egg consumption on lipid profiles of CKD patients. Additionally, egg consumption has not been associated with the risk of developing CKD based on epidemiological studies. The egg yolk also contains bioactive compounds, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin D, which may confer health benefits in CKD patients. Here we review research on egg intake and CKD, discuss both potential contraindications and favorable effects of egg consumption, and describe the need for further research examining egg intake and outcomes in the CKD and end-stage renal disease population.
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