Nutrition bomb: Eat an egg a day to improve insulin resistance, heart health, fat metabolism
06/11/2019 // Edsel Cook // Views

A Finnish study found that men could improve their chances of avoiding Type 2 diabetes by eating eggs every day. Eggs could lower the levels of two chemicals associated with the risk of developing metabolic disease.

Earlier experiments determined that regular consumption of eggs could enhance insulin resistance by improving the effectiveness of the hormone at metabolizing glucose. Other studies looked into the ways that eating eggs could support the healthy functions of the heart.

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) decided to evaluate the effects of eating eggs on people who were vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes. They succeeded in identifying the preventive impact of several unidentified compounds in functional food. The compounds appeared to stop the metabolic disease from appearing inside the body of the participant.

"Eggs are an especially rich source of several bioactive compounds, such as carotenoids and choline, which have been shown to have beneficial effects on, for example, insulin resistance, inflammation, and lipid oxidation and metabolism," explained Jyrki K. Virtanen, the lead researcher and author of the study. (Related: Free-range eggs contain higher levels of vitamin D – study.)

Does eating eggs prevent the onset of diabetes?

The UEF researchers recruited 2,682 men to serve as the cohort of their experiment on eggs. The age of each participant averaged out around 42 to 60 years old during the years 1984 to 1989.

Participants filled out several questionnaires that covered the type and number of foods consumed. The researchers used this information to compute the daily egg intake of each volunteer.


Once they accomplished the survey, the participants underwent subsequent examinations over an average period of 19 years. By the end of the follow-up period, 432 of the participants displayed the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.

Upon completing the first phase of the study, the researchers sought to analyze the egg consumption of the participants on a closer basis. They selected 264 volunteers whose body mass index (BMI) ranged from 20 to 30.

The members of this new cohort were divided into four groups. The high intake group ate around one egg each day for a weekly total of seven, while the low intake group consumed no more than two eggs each week. The other two groups consisted of participants who either remained healthy or developed Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers analyzed the serum levels of all participants to identify compounds responsible for any anti-diabetic activity found in eggs. They published their findings in the science journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

An egg a day keeps diabetes away

Based on the results of their experiment, the UEF research team reported that people who ate one egg every day enjoyed much lower risks of developing Type 2 diabetes when compared to those who ate far fewer eggs every week. They also noted that eggs formed a part of a nutritious diet and matching healthy lifestyle, so eating other foods and making other healthy habits could have contributed.

Researchers also found higher levels of tyrosine and an unidentified compound in the people who only ate two eggs each week. Tyrosine was an amino acid associated with a two-fold jump in the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The unspecified compound also contributed to the chances of diabetes.

During their study, the researchers came to believe that dietary cholesterol acquired from eating eggs did not exert a tremendous effect on the potential onset of diabetes. Instead, they theorized that eggs contained other compounds that reduced the levels of tyrosine and the other harmful chemical.

In addition to their potential role in limiting diabetes, eggs provide a source of proteins and other nutrients. People wary of diabetes should get their supply of eggs from organic farms.

Sources include:

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