Background: The rise in LDL with egg feeding in lean insulinsensitive (LIS) participants is 2- and 3-fold greater than in lean insulin-resistant (LIR) and obese insulin-resistant (OIR) participants, respectively. Objective: We determined whether differences in cholesterol absorption, synthesis, or both could be responsible for these differences by measuring plasma sterols as indexes of cholesterol absorption and endogenous synthesis. Design: Plasma sterols were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in a random subset of 34 LIS, 37 LIR, and 37 OIR participants defined by the insulin sensitivity index (SI) and by BMI criteria selected from a parent group of 197 participants. Cholestanol and plant sterols provide a measure of cholesterol absorption, and lathosterol provides a measure of cholesterol synthesis. Results: The mean (±SD) ratio of plasma total absorption biomarker sterols to cholesterol was 4.48 ± 1.74 in LIS, 3.25 ± 1.06 in LIR, and 2.82 ± 1.08 in OIR participants. After adjustment for age and sex, the relations of the absorption sterol-cholesterol ratios were as follows: LIS > OIR (P < 0.001), LIS > LIR (P < 0.001), and LIR > OIR (P = 0.11). Lathosterol-cholesterol ratios were 0.71 ± 0.32 in the LIS participants, 0.95 ± 0.47 in the LIR participants, and 1.29 ± 0.55 in the OIR participants. After adjustment for age and sex, the relations of lathosterol-cholesterol ratios were as follows: LIS < OIR (P < 0.001), LIS < LIR (P = 0.03), and LIR < OIR (P = 0.002). Total sterol concentrations were positively associated with S I and negatively associated with obesity, whereas lathosterol correlations were the opposite. Conclusions: Cholesterol absorption was highest in the LIS participants, whereas cholesterol synthesis was highest in the LIR and OIR participants. Therapeutic diets for hyperlipidemia should emphasize low-cholesterol diets in LIS persons and weight loss to improve S I and to decrease cholesterol overproduction in LIR and OIR persons.