New research digs down into why middle-aged Finnish men who ate up to one egg a day (high intake) had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than their peers who ate fewer eggs.
Eating an egg daily can have a beneficial effect on the blood metabolite profile that is related to a lower risk of Type-2 diabetes, the new study shows.
The findings showed 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.
"The study explored potential compounds that could explain this association using non-targeted metabolomics, a technique that enables a broad profiling of chemicals in a sample," said lead author Stefania Noerman from the University of Eastern Finland.
Eggs remain one of the most controversial food items. High intake of eggs has traditionally been discouraged, mainly due to their high cholesterol content.
However, eggs are also a rich source of many bioactive compounds that can have beneficial effects on health. This means that the health effects of consuming eggs are difficult to determine based solely on their cholesterol content, the researchers said.
For the study, published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 239 serum samples were analysed in four groups: men with higher (mean intake one egg per day) or lower (mean intake two eggs per week) egg intake who developed Type-2 diabetes (cases) or remained healthy (controls) during the mean follow-up of nearly 20 years.
The study suggested 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.
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.
"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.
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