An egg a day keeps diabetes away , research says !!

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Among dietary habits that could act as preventive measures for type 2 diabetes could be eating an egg a day. Researches have been conducted for establishing a probable connection between egg intake and risks of type 2 diabetes.

A population-based study called Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) was carried on Finnish men: 2682 in Kuopio area aging 42, 48 54, and 60 in 1984 to 1989. .  

Men in highest quartile of egg consumption (about 1egg/day) had a 38% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than in the lowest quartile (about 1 egg/week)

Stefania Noerman, MSc, of the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, who with colleagues report the work in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research told that this study has been based on the technique called "nontargeted metabolomics" which does profiling of chemicals. Men who developed type 2 diabetes had higher baseline serum levels of tyrosine and an unknown hexose-containing compound, regardless of egg intake.

There are also some hints with researchers about certain egg-related compounds that may play a role in type 2 diabetes development, as explained by Noerman and senior researcher Jyrki Virtanen, PhD.

The findings regarding egg consumption have been conflicting. In contrast to the study at hand, some link the consumption of eggs with higher risks of diabetes.

These contrasting studies mainly from the US, could be explained by the higher intake of meat, higher body mass index (BMI), higher rate of smoking, or lower physical activity in people with a high intake of eggs, as suggested by Noerman and colleagues.

According to Charles P. Vega, MD, health sciences clinical professor, Family Medicine, University of California, Irvine, "there are much more salient negative lifestyle habits to target to reduce not only the risk of diabetes but improve the risk of cardiovascular disease overall."

He opines that an egg could be taken instead of fast foods like donuts and bacons.

Why Eggs?

The researchers write, "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."

Researchers in this study wanted to identify the difference in substances produced in metabolism with difference in egg intake and their association with new-onset type 2. Liquid chromatography quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometry to analyze serum samples were used in the process.

Determining the egg intake of each participant, and after a mean follow-up of 19.3 years, 432 men developed type 2 diabetes.

Metabolomics analysis was done on the randomly selected 264 participants having a BMI of 20 to 30 kg/m2 and a daily calorie intake of ≥ 1700 calories/day, divided into four equal groups.

As stated, tyrosine and the unknown hexose- compound which was higher in men with type 2 were positively correlated with several metabolites such as monoglyceride (16:1) that were higher in the participants who ate fewer eggs and negatively correlated with other metabolites, such as lysoPC (16:0) that were higher in those who ate more eggs.

Hence the conclusion that higher egg intake could be related with lower risk of type 2 diabetes as shown by lower levels of tyrosine and hexose- compound.

Is Dietary Cholesterol in Eggs responsible?

In an Australian study DIABEGG, it was shown that men with high intake of eggs had hence higher intake of cholesterol than those who ate lesser eggs, but this didn't reflect in their blood cholesterol profiles.

This shouldn't be surprising, as Noerman and Virtanen say, because for most people, dietary cholesterol has only a small impact on blood cholesterol concentrations.

"We have also reported this lack of an association [of intake of eggs] with blood lipids before in a larger sample of men from the KIHD study."

Thus, "dietary cholesterol from eggs or endogenous cholesterol most likely does not explain the lower diabetes risk with higher egg intake.”

More investigative research is required to be clear as to what compounds in eggs play this significant role.

Overall this research suggests that eating eggs moderately, around one a day, can surely be a healthy habit for preventing type 2 diabetes in most people.

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