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Handbook of eggs in human function


Human Health Handbooks, Volume 9

Published: 

eISBN: 978-90-8686-804-9 | ISBN: 978-90-8686-254-2

Book Type: Edited Collection
Abstract:

Exercise is a health promoting activity. Eggs are often thought to support exercise outcomes through their nutritional content of high quality protein. However, despite the failure of most recent large scale prospective studies to find an association between daily egg consumption and heart disease risk, eggs continue to be thought to promote heart disease by some health professionals. Commonly used measurements of blood lipids cannot evaluate all aspects of lipid metabolism that can be altered by exercise or egg consumption. Most heart disease in current populations arises from obesity and associated insulin resistance/diabetes and some prospective studies link egg consumption to an increased risk for diabetes. Exercise is routinely used to mitigate heart disease risk due to insulin resistance. In addition to exercise, diets of reduced carbohydrate and higher protein proportions in association with a moderate consumption of healthy fats are recommended to improve insulin resistance, reduce obesity and heart disease. Inclusion of eggs in such a dietary strategy is reasonable and current literature provides some biologically plausible mechanisms by which eggs could provide specific benefit over other protein sources. However, the present lack of definitive research demonstrating egg specific benefits on exercise outcomes in normoglycemic, insulin resistant and diabetic individuals limits general recommendations on dietary inclusion levels. Indeed such advice would also require additional research to determine whether ‘high dose’ egg intake is needed to gain exercise benefits, or if specific components of eggs provide the exercise benefits demonstrated by the few studies currently available in the literature.

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