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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Emerging Research May Reshape Introductory Foods for Infants

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For years, health organizations and pediatricians recommended not giving infants (especially those at high-risk) food allergens – like eggs, peanuts, dairy or fish – as an introductory food, and at the same time, there was an increase in prevalence of food allergies in U.S. children.

Now, current research has challenged that paradigm. Introducing allergen foods as early as 4 months (if not sooner), may actually decrease the child’s risk of developing food allergies.

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Vitamin-D enhanced eggs can protect serum vitamin D levels during the winter

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Featured article in the August, 2016 Issue of Nutrition Research Update

Vitamin D intakes are below recommendations for a large percentage of the population in the United States and Europe.  As such, supplementation is often recommended to maintain serum levels of vitamin D, particularly over winter.  An alternative approach is vitamin D fortification of suitable foods.

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A higher protein breakfast increases the thermic effect of feeding and appetite in breakfast skippers

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Featured article in the August, 2016 Issue of Nutrition Research Update

Numerous studies have demonstrated that higher protein meals at breakfast lead to greater feelings of fullness relative to lower protein breakfast meals, which may reduce energy intake and therefore facilitate weight loss (click here for a recent review).  Less understood is the effect of protein consumption at breakfast on the thermic effect of feeding (TEF), a component of total energy expenditure.

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Fish intake raises levels of a purported pro-atherogenic compound more than meat or eggs

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Featured article in the August, 2016 Issue of Nutrition Research Update

Trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) has been linked by some researchers to the development and progression of heart disease.  TMAO is produced in the liver from trimethylamine, a by-product of microbial metabolism of the nutrients choline and carnitine.  Eggs and beef contain choline and carnitine and as such, have been brought into the discussion about TMAO.
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Unintended Consequences of Weight Loss: A Researcher Weighs In

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Featured article in the August, 2016 Issue of Nutrition Research Update; written by Christian Wright, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Nutrition Science Laboratory of Nutrition, Fitness, and Aging Purdue University

It goes without saying that our nation currently faces a serious obesity crisis. Nearly half of the United States has an obesity prevalence greater than 30% and not a single state in the U.S. shows a prevalence less than 20% (Fig. 1). This pervasiveness of obesity has led to a dramatic spike in cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes cases, which has ultimately decreased the quality of life and life expectancy for many Americans (1). One solution to this nationwide problem is weight loss, particularly diet-induced weight loss (2). Even a 5% reduction in body weight is shown to improve fasting blood lipid and glucose concentrations while decreasing the risk of all-cause mortality (3, 4). Indeed, weight loss is beneficial and is needed to combat our on-going battle with obesity. However, the loss of body mass without considering changes in body composition is irresponsible. Though beneficial for metabolic health, weight loss is shown to decrease bone mass (5) which could, in turn, increase the risk of osteoporosis and skeletal fracture.

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