American Society for Nutrition 2019: Highlights for Eggs

American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting was held in Baltimore earlier this month.  Top scientific researchers, practitioners, global and public health professionals, policy leaders, industry, and media gathered to advance nutrition science.  Below are a few highlights from presentations of eggs and eggs’ nutrients.

Young Child Nutrition, Eggs and Poultry Production: What’s New? (Satellite session)

Recent research has demonstrated that egg consumption early in the complementary feeding period positively impacts child growth, and the nutrients in eggs may also enhance cognitive development.  However, many questions remain regarding how eggs can help improve nutrition in populations with different staple foods and stunting rates.  Topics of this satellite session discussion included follow-up data on the Lulun Project, results from a trial of eggs among young children in Malawi, poultry production systems and their link to nutrition and health security, and interventions to increase egg consumption in low- and middle-income countries.  For more information on these topics, please visit our website and the Maternal & Child Nutrition Supplement highlighting eggs as part of a global solution.

A Free, Egg-based ‘Breakfast in the Classroom’ Program Improves School Breakfast Participation, Eating Habits, and Cognitive Performance in Middle-school Adolescents (OR13-02-19)

This pilot study implemented a free, egg-based breakfast in the classroom program in a group of ninety-two 8th grade students at the Center Middle School, Kansas City, MO.  School breakfast in the classroom, with the addition of two eggs/day, increased participation by 57% compared to the school breakfast program.  The intervention also decreased afternoon/evening snacking behavior, with a self-reported decrease in consumption salty snacks, candy, and baked sweets at home.

Differences in Response to Egg Intake Result in Distinct Lipoprotein Profiles While Plasma Concentrations of Carotenoids and Choline Are Not Affected (P08-102-19)

Healthy subjects consumed 3 eggs per day for 4 weeks, and compared to consumption of zero eggs, hyper-responders (those individuals who had a >12 mg/dL increase in plasma cholesterol after the intervention) and hypo-responders (no significant change in plasma cholesterol) both had significant increases in large HDL particles, plasma lutein, zeaxanthin, and choline compared to zero egg intake.  The observed increase in large HDL in these subjects could be linked with HDL being an important transporter of lutein and zeaxanthin in plasma.

Egg Consumption and Multi-Domain Cognitive Function in a Representative Sample of Older U.S. Adults (P14-004-19)

Analysis of data from the 2012 and 2014 Health and Retirement Study and the 2013 Health Care and Nutrition Study indicate that egg consumption was not associated with cognitive performance or cognitive change.  Some egg nutrients in eggs like choline and cholesterol increased with greater egg consumption.  The authors conclude that further studies of whole egg consumption and cognitive outcomes should be evaluated in controlled experiments, with extended follow-up periods, in both community-dwelling and institutionalized older adults.

Relationship Between Dietary Lutein and Cognition in an Older Adult Population (P14-030-19)

An analysis of data from the 2012 Health and Retirement Study and the 2013 Health Care and Nutrition study found leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, dark yellow vegetables, eggs, fruit and other vegetables significantly predicted dietary lutein intake.  When divided by quartiles, participants in the 3rd and 4th quartiles (2394 µg/day, and 5632 µg/day, respectively) had higher scores on cognitive function as measured by immediate word recall and delayed word recall.