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Egg nutrition research reveals positive impact on metabolic syndrome and satiety

April 25, 2012

This week at Experimental Biology (EB) 2012 in San Diego, experts are convening to discuss the latest science in a variety of health and disease-related areas, including nutrition. Research on whole egg consumption in individuals with metabolic syndrome as well as the positive effects of a higher-protein breakfast is further revealing the potential benefits of including eggs in the diet.

Whole Egg Consumption May Improve Markers of Metabolic Syndrome

A University of Connecticut study presented this week suggests that eating eggs may actually have favorable effects on HDL metabolism in men and women with metabolic syndrome.(i) Participants in the study followed a carbohydrate-restricted diet with some individuals eating three whole eggs per day and others eating an equivalent amount of egg substitute. After 12 weeks, the group eating whole eggs experienced an improvement in HDL measures showing significantly greater increases in the number and size of HDL particles. HDL or "good" cholesterol scavenges for fat throughout the bloodstream and returns it to the liver, making it less likely that fatty deposits will build up in the blood vessels and lead to atherosclerosis.

Related findings were also presented in separate sessions that suggest that consuming whole eggs as part of a carbohydrate-restricted diet may help to further improve markers indicative of inflammation, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, in individuals with metabolic syndrome.(ii)

Higher-Protein Breakfast Reduces High-Fat Snacking

A study by researchers at the University of Missouri found that teen girls reported greater feelings of satiety and experienced improved hormone responses related to hunger and satiety after consuming a higher-protein breakfast, containing about 35 grams of protein from egg or beef-based foods. Teen girls who consumed a high-protein breakfast also ate fewer snacks, especially those higher in fat, later in the day.(iii) These findings build on past research showing the benefits of high-quality protein on satiety, further supporting the science behind what makes eggs such a satisfying breakfast choice.(iv)

Clarifying Cholesterol Confusion

Many Americans avoid the dietary cholesterol found in eggs for fear of raising their risk of heart disease, but more than 40 years of research has shown that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without concern for increasing their risk for heart disease. Additionally, an analysis from the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service showed that eggs have 14 percent less cholesterol (down from 215 mg to 185 mg) than previously measured.(v) Established research also has shown that saturated fat intake may be more likely to raise a person's blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol intake and eggs contain relatively little saturated fat.(vi) The findings presented at this week's meeting in combination with the decades of science demonstrating the health benefits of eating eggs further support the role of eggs in a nutritious diet.

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