Nutrition Science

Nutrition research is the underpinning of our programs and outreach. ENC is dedicated to providing accurate and up-to-date information on eggs, nutrition and health. Below is a collection of both ENC-funded research and relevant studies.

To learn more about our competitive research program, click here.

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Experimental Biology 2016, ENC-funded Presentations

The Experimental Biology annual meeting attracts over 14,000 scientists in the fields of nutrition, anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, investigative pathology, pharmacology, and physiology.  Scientists in academia, government agencies, private corporations, and non-profit organizations from around the world attend the event.

At the upcoming 2016 meeting, a total of 14 abstracts will be presented that were supported in full or in part, by an ENC research grant. We are proud to announce that three of these presentations were selected for various competitions, which are noted below.  We congratulate all of the authors and are pleased to be able to advance the understanding of nutrition through our research program.

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Early Introduction of Egg in Infants

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Experts are re-thinking linkages between food consumption and allergies. Recently, new research was published by the EAT (Enquiring about Tolerance) Study Team reporting on a “Randomized trial of introduction of allergenic foods in breast-fed infants” (Perkin, 2016).
In this study, 1303 exclusively breast-fed 3 month-old infants were assigned randomly to either standard introduction or early introduction of six allergenic foods, including cooked eggs, peanut, cow’s milk, sesame, whitefish, and wheat. According to protocol, the treatment group was to consume at least five of the early-introduced foods to deliver at least 75% of the target 3 grams allergenic protein per week. The protocol called for compliance for at least 5 weeks between 3 to 6 months of age. Challenge-proven allergy to one or more of the introduced foods was tested between 1 and 3 years of age.

Although directionally similar, the intent-to-treat results (which includes all subjects randomized) showed no significant results, whereas allergies were reduced in the subset of subjects that were compliant with the protocol. With respect to cooked eggs, prevalence of IgE-mediated allergy was significantly lower, 1.4% among early introduction infants compliant with the protocol compared to 5.5% among those in the standard introduction group (p=0.009).

Secondary analysis showed similar, although mostly non-significant, improvements in skin-prick testing and also showed dose response relationships for weekly consumption of egg and peanut protein. “The mean weekly consumption of 2 g of peanut protein and 4 g of egg protein (equivalent to 2 g of egg-white protein) was associated with the prevention of these two respective food allergies.”

This year, the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) plans to release a report summarizing up to date information on the global burden, causes, treatment and prevention of food allergies.

Perkin, MR, et al. for the EAT Study Team. “Randomized trial of introduction of allergenic foods in breast-fed infants.” NEJM March 4, 2016. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1514210.



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Research We’ve Been Reading

  • What Happens When Adults with Heart Disease Eat Eggs: Two eggs a day for breakfast were neutral with respect to heart health risk factors in adults with coronary artery disease. Read more here(Citation: Katz, David L. et al. “Effects of egg ingestion on endothelial function in adults with coronary artery disease: A randomized, controlled, crossover trial” American Heart Journal 2015; 169(1): 162–169.)
  • Does Breakfast Drive A “Metabolic Memory?”: Usual breakfast “eaters” respond to skipping a breakfast meal differently than those who usually skip breakfast. Read more here. (Citation: Thomas, EA, J Higgins, DH Bessesen, B McNair, and MA Cornier. “Usual breakfast eating habits affect response to breakfast skipping on overweight women.” Obesity 2015;23(4):750-759.)
  • Protein at Breakfast Improved Glycemic Control in Obese Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: High protein, egg-based breakfast affected insulin and incretin responses at a subsequent meal, suggesting breakfast meal composition may be important for those with type 2 diabetes. Read more here. (Citation: Park, YM, TD Heden, Y Liu, LM Nyhoff, JP Thyfault, HJ Leidy, and JA Kanaley. “A high-protein breakfast induces greater insulin and glucose-dependent insulin tropic peptide responses to a subsequent lunch meal in individuals with type 2 diabetes.” J Nutr 2015;145:452-458. This study was supported in part by the Egg Nutrition Center.)
  • Higher Protein Diets Associated with Cardiometabolic Advantages: Men and women with greater dietary protein intakes were more likely to have lower body mass index and waist circumference, and higher HDL-cholesterol. Read more here(Citation: Pasiakos, SM, HR Lieberman, and VL Fulgoni. “Higher-protein diets are associated with higher HDL cholesterol and lower BMI and waist circumference in US Adults.” J Nutrition 2015; Mar;145(3):605-14.)
  • All Cholesterol ls Not Created Equal: A Review of Egg Consumption and Heart Health. Written by  Zachary Clayton, MS, and Elizabeth Fusco, MS. Read more here.

Muscle quality: what does it mean to your health?

Featured article in the Winter 2016 Issue of Nutrition Close-Up; written by Christian Wright, Doctoral Student, Purdue University

“Bigger is better” for most Americans when it comes to skeletal muscle. One only needs to look at the latest cover of health magazines for headlines such as “build muscle fast” and “supersize your legs” to know this to be true. After all, a larger muscle is generally a stronger muscle, which is important for overall health. In fact, muscular strength is often used as a surrogate for one’s physical health as it is independently associated with not only mobility, but also the development of chronic disease.

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