Consumption of one egg every day seems to associate with a blood metabolite profile that is related to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study conducted in the University of Eastern Finland shows. The findings have been published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
The investigators have previously shown that eating roughly one egg per day was associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes among middle-aged men participating in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study in eastern Finland.
”The purpose of the current study was to explore potential compounds that could explain this association using non-targeted metabolomics, a technique that enables a broad profiling of chemicals in a sample,” says Early Stage Researcher and lead author of the study Stefania Noerman from the University of Eastern Finland.
The study found that the blood samples of men who ate more eggs included certain lipid molecules that positively correlated with the blood profile of men who remained free of type 2 diabetes. In addition, the researchers identified several biochemical compounds in blood that predicted a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, including the amino acid tyrosine.
The study suggests some plausible mechanisms which could at least partly explain the inverse association between egg intake and the previously observed lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
“Although it is too early to draw any causal conclusions, we now have some hints about certain egg-related compounds that may have a role in type 2 diabetes development. Further detailed investigations with both cell models and intervention studies in humans that use modern techniques, such as metabolomics, are needed to understand the mechanisms behind physiological effects of egg intake,” concluded Stefania.
The Food Standards Agency has recently amended its previous advice to say that eggs carrying the British Lion mark can now safely be eaten runny, or even raw, by vulnerable groups, such as older people. Current research backed by the British Egg Industry Council suggests that an adequate intake of high-quality protein from sources such as eggs could help to prevent the degeneration of skeletal muscle, which is a common health issue for older people.