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Eggs Could Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels and Lower Weight

by Gopalan on August 26, 2008 at 9:00 PM
 Eggs Could Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels and Lower Weight

One doesn't have to shun eggs too much. They could actually help you lose weight and also lower cholesterol levels.

New research seems to suggest apprehensions that the cholesterol-rich could raise risk of heart disease could be misplaced.


A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition makes a strong case for eggs in the breakfast menu.

A team from Surrey University, led by Dr Bruce Griffin, fed two eggs per day to almost 50 overweight but otherwise healthy volunteers for 12 weeks.

They also had to follow a reduced-calorie diet recommended by the British Heart Foundation.

Another group followed the same diet, but cut out eggs altogether. Both groups lost weight and saw a fall in the average level of blood cholesterol.

Dr Griffin said: 'There is no convincing evidence to link an increased intake of dietary cholesterol or eggs with coronary heart disease. Indeed, eggs make a nutritional contribution to a healthy, calorie-restricted diet.'

It is thought that eating eggs for breakfast contributes to weight loss by making people-feel fuller for longer.

This research provides evidence to support the scientific consensus that saturated fat, found in pastry, processed meats, biscuits and cakes, is more responsible for raising blood cholesterol than cholesterol-rich foods, such as eggs, which are low in saturated fat.

Britons eat 28million eggs a day - between two and three per person per week - one of the lowest intakes in the world.

There seem to be a number of other reasons too to say cheers to eggs:

The yellow of egg yolks helps to protect eyes from age-related macular degeneration - the most common cause of deteriorating eyesight in old age.

Canadian researchers have already found that the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which give yolks their distinctive colour, reduced the risk of cataracts.

A US study said that when women ate two a day, their HDL cholesterol - the "happy" cholesterol that protects against heart disease - rose by ten per cent.

There is more to celebrate with eggs:

They contain vitamins A, D and K. Vitamin A is essential for eyesight and one of the first signs of deficiency is poor night vision. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium, making it important for healthy bones. Recent research shows vitamin K, essential for blood clotting, also boosts bone health.

Eggs are packed with protein, which are chains of up to 20 amino acids - nine of which are essential -and eggs are packed with them. Our bodies can't make essential amino acids so we must get them from food. And eggs are the only natural food to contain all nine.

Eating eggs helps you lose weight, a recent study at the University of Illinois found. They contain leucine, which helps to reduce muscle loss and boosts fat burning. Bodybuilders often take extra leucine to bulk up. Eggs are low in calories too. Each contains around 75 calories -about the same as a banana.

Big fluctuations in blood sugar levels can trigger a condition called glucose intolerance, which can develop into diabetes. Leucine in eggs appears to help stabilise blood-sugar levels. More research is needed but some scientists believe this could provide a clue to reducing the risk of diabetes.

Eggs are a great source of iodine -a mineral which fuels the thyroid, the gland that produces hormones which regulate growth. In extreme cases, iodine deficiency can lead to birth deformities and mental impairment. More common symptoms are dry skin and hair, depression, irritability and poor memory.

Eggs contain an important nutrient for the brain called choline.

Scientists have found our brains use it to transmit messages between cells. There is also evidence it is a catalyst for many complex mental functions. Studies involving animals have shown a lack of choline in the womb is associated with poor memory.

A Harvard Medical School study found teenage girls who ate eggs regularly were less likely to get breast cancer later in life. Researchers warned more investigation was needed but suggested that high levels of amino acids, vitamins and minerals in eggs were likely to play a part.

We need iron to make haemoglobin - the oxygen-carrying part of red blood cells - or we feel tired. Eggs supply the "haem" - iron that comes from animal sources.

Source: Medindia
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