Eggs Across The Lifespan

Eggs contain a number of nutrients that are essential throughout the lifespan:

  • High-quality protein contains building blocks needed to support healthy bones and muscles. Research suggests that exercise, along with optimal protein intake, can slow the effects of sarcopenia or chronic age-related muscle loss.
  • Choline is essential for normal liver function and brain health. It is especially important during pregnancy to support normal fetal growth and development, and most pregnant women do not consume adequate amounts of choline. Consuming eggs during pregnancy is one solution to choline consumption issues.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that are believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that develops with age.

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Higher Protein Breakfast Reduces Hunger in Kids

Children having breakfast in the kitchen

If protein at breakfast shows benefits, it may help manage or prevent overweight in kids.

Researchers at the University of Arkansas were interested in weight-related physiologic effects of high carbohydrate and high protein breakfasts among school aged kids. In focusing on kids, they noted that “In the U.S. 32% of children are overweight and 17% obese. Obesity is a major public health concern, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia.” [Baum, 2015] As communities and healthcare professionals look for solutions to the obesity problem, researchers are also working to discover ways to address the issue. Breakfast has been the subject of several studies related to weight loss and maintenance.

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Primary Prevention is a Critical Component in Preventing Pediatric Obesity

Female doctor examining child with stethoscope

Newly updated pediatric report includes specific food recommendations as part of obesity prevention.

In July 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics published an update to their 2003 clinical report on prevention of pediatric obesity (Daniels, 2015). Obesity prevention is a public health priority because obesity is the most prevalent chronic health condition in pediatrics. Moreover, the report noted:

Although treatment of obesity in the pediatric age group, as well as secondary and tertiary prevention, will remain a key component of a comprehensive strategy to address this public health problem, the results of treatment remain modest, and primary prevention is recognized as a critical part of a sustainable solution

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Protein at Breakfast Improved Glycemic Control in Obese Adults With Type 2 Diabetes

Honey Waffle

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.

With high rates of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. and on the rise globally, there is a need to better understand the impact of macronutrient composition on glucose and insulin homeostasis in this population.

Continue reading “Protein at Breakfast Improved Glycemic Control in Obese Adults With Type 2 Diabetes”

Higher Egg Consumption Protective of Diabetes Incidence in Middle Age Men

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Higher egg intake was associated with reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Finnish men studied for 20 years.

New results were just published from the Kuopio heart study in eastern Finland (Virtanen, 2015). In this prospective cohort study, over 2,000 men between the ages of 42-60 years were randomly selected to participate in a long-term study of diet and cardiovascular disease. Dietary intake was recorded via 4-day food records at the study start and then subjects were examined at designed time points over 20 years of follow up.

The research authors introduced their interest is examining relationships between eggs and health outcomes by noting that:

“Eggs are a common, affordable, and readily available food item worldwide and, in addition to cholesterol, also a good source of many potentially beneficial nutrients…” Furthermore, “[t]he evidence on the impact of egg consumption on the risk of T2D is limited and mixed…”

Men were divided into quartiles based on average daily egg intake. Results were adjusted for potential confounding factors, including age, examination year, and energy intake.

There was a significant trend across quartiles of egg consumption, with the lowest risk of T2D in men reporting an average of 35 g/d of egg, which equate to little more than half of a medium egg compared to those consuming less than 1 egg/week. There was no further suppression of risk in those consuming higher daily egg intake.

Stated another way,

“[e]ach egg per day (55 g) was associated with a 30% lower risk.”

The longitudinal and long-term nature of this study over 20-years is a particular strength.

The researchers concluded that,

“[r]ecommendations to limit consumption of eggs (or any food) in a general healthy population should not be based on a single component in a food, such as the cholesterol in egg.”

 

Reference Citation

Virtanen, JK, J Mursu, TP Tuomainen, HEK Virtanen, and S Voutilainen. “Egg consumption and risk of incident type 2 diabetes in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study” Am J Clin Nutr 2015. Available on-line doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.104109.

 

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