Special Issue "Egg Consumption and Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2015).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The purpose of this Special Issue, “Egg Consumption and Human Health,” is two-fold: 1) to address the lack of effect of eggs in increasing heart disease risk (this discussion will be based on what is known from epidemiological analysis and clinical interventions) and 2) to focus on the role of eggs in protecting against chronic disease. Eggs are more than just a cholesterol-containing food. They possess numerous nutritional benefits. This Special Issue will discuss eggs as a source of high-quality protein for individuals across the life spectrum, as a substantial source of choline (a known neurotransmitter involved in cognitive function), and as a source of highly bioavailable lutein and zeaxanthin (two carotenoids well-recognized for their major role in protecting against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties). Finally, the potential of incorporating eggs for weight loss interventions, due to their low glycemic index and their satiety effects, will also be discussed.

Professor Maria Luz Fernandez
Guest editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • dietary cholesterol
  • LDL
  • HDL
  • healthy population
  • populations at risk
  • lutein
  • zeaxanthin
  • choline
  • high quality protein
  • appetite
  • inflammation
  • oxidative stress
  • age-related macular degeneration

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Eggs and Health Special Issue
Nutrients 2016, 8(12), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8120784 - 02 Dec 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
In 1968, the American Heart Association recommended the consumption of no more than 300 mg/day of dietary cholesterol and emphasized that no more than 3 eggs should be eaten per week, resulting in substantial reductions in egg consumption, not just by diseased populations [...] Read more.
In 1968, the American Heart Association recommended the consumption of no more than 300 mg/day of dietary cholesterol and emphasized that no more than 3 eggs should be eaten per week, resulting in substantial reductions in egg consumption, not just by diseased populations but alsobyhealthyindividuals,andmoreimportantlybypoorcommunitiesinundevelopedcountieswho were advised against consuming a highly nutritious food.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Egg Intake and Dietary Quality among Overweight and Obese Mexican-American Postpartum Women
Nutrients 2015, 7(10), 8402-8412; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7105402 - 02 Oct 2015
Cited by 6
Abstract
Despite their low cost and high nutrient density, the contribution of eggs to nutrient intake and dietary quality among Mexican-American postpartum women has not been evaluated. Nutrient intake and dietary quality, as assessed by the Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010), were measured in [...] Read more.
Despite their low cost and high nutrient density, the contribution of eggs to nutrient intake and dietary quality among Mexican-American postpartum women has not been evaluated. Nutrient intake and dietary quality, as assessed by the Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010), were measured in habitually sedentary overweight/obese (body mass index (BMI) = 29.7 ± 3.5 kg/m2) Mexican-American postpartum women (28 ± 6 years) and compared between egg consumers (n = 82; any egg intake reported in at least one of three 24-h dietary recalls) and non-consumers (n = 57). Egg consumers had greater intake of energy (+808 kJ (193 kcal) or 14%; p = 0.033), protein (+9 g or 17%; p = 0.031), total fat (+9 g or 19%; p = 0.039), monounsaturated fat (+4 g or 24%; p = 0.020), and several micronutrients than non-consumers. Regarding HEI-2010 scores, egg consumers had a greater total protein foods score than non-consumers (4.7 ± 0.7 vs. 4.3 ± 1.0; p = 0.004), and trends for greater total fruit (2.4 ± 1.8 vs. 1.9 ± 1.7; p = 0.070) and the total composite HEI-2010 score (56.4 ± 12.6 vs. 52.3 ± 14.4; p = 0.082). Findings suggest that egg intake could contribute to greater nutrient intake and improved dietary quality among postpartum Mexican-American women. Because of greater energy intake among egg consumers, recommendations for overweight/obese individuals should include avoiding excessive energy intake and incorporating eggs to a nutrient-dense, fiber-rich dietary pattern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Egg Yolk Protein Delays Recovery while Ovalbumin Is Useful in Recovery from Iron Deficiency Anemia
Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4792-4803; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7064792 - 15 Jun 2015
Cited by 6
Abstract
Protein is a main nutrient involved in overall iron metabolism in vivo. In order to assess the prevention of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) by diet, it is necessary to confirm the influence of dietary protein, which coexists with iron, on iron bioavailability. [...] Read more.
Protein is a main nutrient involved in overall iron metabolism in vivo. In order to assess the prevention of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) by diet, it is necessary to confirm the influence of dietary protein, which coexists with iron, on iron bioavailability. We investigated the usefulness of the egg structural protein in recovery from IDA. Thirty-one female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into a control group (n = 6) fed a casein diet (4.0 mg Fe/100 g) for 42 days and an IDA model group (n = 25) created by feeding a low-iron casein diet (LI, 0.4 mg Fe/100 g) for 21 days and these IDA rats were fed normal iron diet with different proteins from eggs for another 21 days. The IDA rats were further divided into four subgroups depending on the proteins fed during the last 21 days, which were those with an egg white diet (LI-W, 4.0 mg Fe/100 g, n = 6), those with an ovalbumin diet (LI-A, 4.0 mg Fe/100 g, n = 7), those with an egg yolk-supplemented diet (LI-Y, 4.0 mg Fe/100 g, n = 6), and the rest with a casein diet (LI-C, 4.0 mg Fe/100 g, n = 6). In the LI-Y group, recovery of the hematocrit, hemoglobin, transferrin saturation level and the hepatic iron content were delayed compared to the other groups (p < 0.01, 0.01, 0.01, and 0.05, respectively), resulting in no recovery from IDA at the end of the experimental period. There were no significant differences in blood parameters in the LI-W and LI-A groups compared to the control group. The hepatic iron content of the LI-W and LI-A groups was higher than that of the LI-C group (p < 0.05). We found that egg white protein was useful for recovery from IDA and one of the efficacious components was ovalbumin, while egg yolk protein delayed recovery of IDA. This study demonstrates, therefore, that bioavailability of dietary iron varies depending on the source of dietary protein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
One Egg per Day Improves Inflammation when Compared to an Oatmeal-Based Breakfast without Increasing Other Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Diabetic Patients
Nutrients 2015, 7(5), 3449-3463; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7053449 - 11 May 2015
Cited by 35
Abstract
There is concern that egg intake may increase blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, we have previously shown that eggs reduce inflammation in patients at risk for T2DM, including obese subjects and those with metabolic syndrome. Thus, we [...] Read more.
There is concern that egg intake may increase blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, we have previously shown that eggs reduce inflammation in patients at risk for T2DM, including obese subjects and those with metabolic syndrome. Thus, we hypothesized that egg intake would not alter plasma glucose in T2DM patients when compared to oatmeal intake. Our primary endpoints for this clinical intervention were plasma glucose and the inflammatory markers tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin 6 (IL-6). As secondary endpoints, we evaluated additional parameters of glucose metabolism, dyslipidemias, oxidative stress and inflammation. Twenty-nine subjects, 35–65 years with glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) values <9% were recruited and randomly allocated to consume isocaloric breakfasts containing either one egg/day or 40 g of oatmeal with 472 mL of lactose-free milk/day for five weeks. Following a three-week washout period, subjects were assigned to the alternate breakfast. At the end of each period, we measured all primary and secondary endpoints. Subjects completed four-day dietary recalls and one exercise questionnaire for each breakfast period. There were no significant differences in plasma glucose, our primary endpoint, plasma lipids, lipoprotein size or subfraction concentrations, insulin, HbA1c, apolipoprotein B, oxidized LDL or C-reactive protein. However, after adjusting for gender, age and body mass index, aspartate amino-transferase (AST) (p < 0.05) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α (p < 0.01), one of our primary endpoints were significantly reduced during the egg period. These results suggest that compared to an oatmeal-based breakfast, eggs do not have any detrimental effects on lipoprotein or glucose metabolism in T2DM. In contrast, eggs reduce AST and TNF-α in this population characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Nutraceutical Properties of Ovotransferrin and Its Potential Utilization as a Functional Food
Nutrients 2015, 7(11), 9105-9115; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7115453 - 04 Nov 2015
Cited by 16
Abstract
Ovotransferrin or conalbumin belong to the transferrin protein family and is endowed with both iron-transfer and protective activities. In addition to its well-known antibacterial properties, ovotransferrin displays other protective roles similar to those already ascertained for the homologous mammalian lactoferrin. These additional functions, [...] Read more.
Ovotransferrin or conalbumin belong to the transferrin protein family and is endowed with both iron-transfer and protective activities. In addition to its well-known antibacterial properties, ovotransferrin displays other protective roles similar to those already ascertained for the homologous mammalian lactoferrin. These additional functions, in many cases not directly related to iron binding, are also displayed by the peptides derived from partial hydrolysis of ovotransferrin, suggesting a direct relationship between egg consumption and human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Immune-Relevant and Antioxidant Activities of Vitellogenin and Yolk Proteins in Fish
Nutrients 2015, 7(10), 8818-8829; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7105432 - 22 Oct 2015
Cited by 36
Abstract
Vitellogenin (Vtg), the major egg yolk precursor protein, is traditionally thought to provide protein- and lipid-rich nutrients for developing embryos and larvae. However, the roles of Vtg as well as its derived yolk proteins lipovitellin (Lv) and phosvitin (Pv) extend beyond nutritional functions. [...] Read more.
Vitellogenin (Vtg), the major egg yolk precursor protein, is traditionally thought to provide protein- and lipid-rich nutrients for developing embryos and larvae. However, the roles of Vtg as well as its derived yolk proteins lipovitellin (Lv) and phosvitin (Pv) extend beyond nutritional functions. Accumulating data have demonstrated that Vtg, Lv and Pv participate in host innate immune defense with multifaceted functions. They can all act as multivalent pattern recognition receptors capable of identifying invading microbes. Vtg and Pv can also act as immune effectors capable of killing bacteria and virus. Moreover, Vtg and Lv are shown to possess phagocytosis-promoting activity as opsonins. In addition to these immune-relevant functions, Vtg and Pv are found to have antioxidant activity, which is able to protect the host from oxidant stress. These non-nutritional functions clearly deepen our understanding of the physiological roles of the molecules, and at the same time, provide a sound basis for potential application of the molecules in human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
The Fifty Year Rehabilitation of the Egg
Nutrients 2015, 7(10), 8716-8722; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7105429 - 21 Oct 2015
Cited by 25
Abstract
The 1968 American Heart Association announced a dietary recommendation that all individuals consume less than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day and no more than three whole eggs per week. This recommendation has not only significantly impacted the dietary patterns of the [...] Read more.
The 1968 American Heart Association announced a dietary recommendation that all individuals consume less than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day and no more than three whole eggs per week. This recommendation has not only significantly impacted the dietary patterns of the population, but also resulted in the public limiting a highly nutritious and affordable source of high quality nutrients, including choline which was limited in the diets of most individuals. The egg industry addressed the egg issue with research documenting the minimal effect of egg intake on plasma lipoprotein levels, as well as research verifying the importance of egg nutrients in a variety of issues related to health promotion. In 2015 dietary cholesterol and egg restrictions have been dropped by most health promotion agencies worldwide and recommended to be dropped from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
Open AccessReview
Hen Egg as an Antioxidant Food Commodity: A Review
Nutrients 2015, 7(10), 8274-8293; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7105394 - 24 Sep 2015
Cited by 60
Abstract
Intake of antioxidants through diet is known to be important in reducing oxidative damage in cells and improving human health. Although eggs are known for their exceptional, nutritional quality, they are not generally considered as antioxidant foods. This review aims to establish the [...] Read more.
Intake of antioxidants through diet is known to be important in reducing oxidative damage in cells and improving human health. Although eggs are known for their exceptional, nutritional quality, they are not generally considered as antioxidant foods. This review aims to establish the importance of eggs as an antioxidant food by summarizing the current knowledge on egg-derived antioxidants. Eggs have various natural occurring compounds including the proteins ovalbumin, ovotransferrin and lysozyme in egg white, as well as phosvitin, carotenoids and free aromatic amino acids in egg yolk. Some lipophilic antioxidants such as vitamin E, carotenoids, selenium, iodine and others can be transferred from feed into egg yolk to produce antioxidant-enriched eggs. The bioactivity of egg antioxidants can be affected by food processing, storage and gastrointestinal digestion. Generally thermal processing methods can promote loss of antioxidant properties in eggs due to oxidation and degradation, whereas gastrointestinal digestion enhances the antioxidant properties, due to the formation of new antioxidants (free amino acids and peptides). In summary, in addition to its well-known nutritional contribution to our diet, this review emphasizes the role of eggs as an important antioxidant food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
Open AccessReview
Bioactive Egg Components and Inflammation
Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 7889-7913; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095372 - 16 Sep 2015
Cited by 57
Abstract
Inflammation is a normal acute response of the immune system to pathogens and tissue injury. However, chronic inflammation is known to play a significant role in the pathophysiology of numerous chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cancer. Thus, [...] Read more.
Inflammation is a normal acute response of the immune system to pathogens and tissue injury. However, chronic inflammation is known to play a significant role in the pathophysiology of numerous chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cancer. Thus, the impact of dietary factors on inflammation may provide key insight into mitigating chronic disease risk. Eggs are recognized as a functional food that contain a variety of bioactive compounds that can influence pro- and anti-inflammatory pathways. Interestingly, the effects of egg consumption on inflammation varies across different populations, including those that are classified as healthy, overweight, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetic. The following review will discuss the pro- and anti-inflammatory properties of egg components, with a focus on egg phospholipids, cholesterol, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and bioactive proteins. The effects of egg consumption of inflammation across human populations will additionally be presented. Together, these findings have implications for population-specific dietary recommendations and chronic disease risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
Open AccessReview
Egg Consumption and Human Cardio-Metabolic Health in People with and without Diabetes
Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 7399-7420; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095344 - 03 Sep 2015
Cited by 27
Abstract
The guidelines for dietary cholesterol and/or egg intake for both the general population and those at higher risk of cardiovascular disease (for example, people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)) differ between countries, and even for different specialist societies in a country. The [...] Read more.
The guidelines for dietary cholesterol and/or egg intake for both the general population and those at higher risk of cardiovascular disease (for example, people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)) differ between countries, and even for different specialist societies in a country. The disparity between these guidelines is at least in part related to the conflicting evidence as to the effects of eggs in the general population and in those with T2DM. This review addresses the effect of eggs on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk from both epidemiological research and controlled prospective studies, in people with and without cardio-metabolic disease. It also examines the nutritional qualities of eggs and whether they may offer protection against chronic disease. The evidence suggests that a diet including more eggs than is recommended (at least in some countries) may be used safely as part of a healthy diet in both the general population and for those at high risk of cardiovascular disease, those with established coronary heart disease, and those with T2DM. In conclusion, an approach focused on a person’s entire dietary intake as opposed to specific foods or nutrients should be the heart of population nutrition guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
Open AccessReview
Egg Phospholipids and Cardiovascular Health
Nutrients 2015, 7(4), 2731-2747; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7042731 - 13 Apr 2015
Cited by 58
Abstract
Eggs are a major source of phospholipids (PL) in the Western diet. Dietary PL have emerged as a potential source of bioactive lipids that may have widespread effects on pathways related to inflammation, cholesterol metabolism, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) function. Based on pre-clinical [...] Read more.
Eggs are a major source of phospholipids (PL) in the Western diet. Dietary PL have emerged as a potential source of bioactive lipids that may have widespread effects on pathways related to inflammation, cholesterol metabolism, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) function. Based on pre-clinical studies, egg phosphatidylcholine (PC) and sphingomyelin appear to regulate cholesterol absorption and inflammation. In clinical studies, egg PL intake is associated with beneficial changes in biomarkers related to HDL reverse cholesterol transport. Recently, egg PC was shown to be a substrate for the generation of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a gut microbe-dependent metabolite associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. More research is warranted to examine potential serum TMAO responses with chronic egg ingestion and in different populations, such as diabetics. In this review, the recent basic science, clinical, and epidemiological findings examining egg PL intake and risk of CVD are summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Egg and Egg-Derived Foods: Effects on Human Health and Use as Functional Foods
Nutrients 2015, 7(1), 706-729; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7010706 - 20 Jan 2015
Cited by 99
Abstract
Eggs are sources of protein, fats and micronutrients that play an important role in basic nutrition. However, eggs are traditionally associated with adverse factors in human health, mainly due to their cholesterol content. Nowadays, however, it is known that the response of cholesterol [...] Read more.
Eggs are sources of protein, fats and micronutrients that play an important role in basic nutrition. However, eggs are traditionally associated with adverse factors in human health, mainly due to their cholesterol content. Nowadays, however, it is known that the response of cholesterol in human serum levels to dietary cholesterol consumption depends on several factors, such as ethnicity, genetic makeup, hormonal factors and the nutritional status of the consumer. Additionally, in recent decades, there has been an increasing demand for functional foods, which is expected to continue to increase in the future, owing to their capacity to decrease the risks of some diseases and socio-demographic factors such as the increase in life expectancy. This work offers a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of egg consumption and the potential market of functional eggs, and it explores the possibilities of the development of functional eggs by technological methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Consumption and Human Health) Printed Edition available
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