New research review crowns the egg as the original protein ball

A new research review, “Eggs: friend or foe?” published in Network Health Digest, confirms the health benefits of eggs, and suggests they should be seen as the original “protein ball”.

The article reviews the nutritional composition of eggs and examines the benefits of including them in a balanced diet.

In comparing eggs to processed protein balls, the author suggests that, “when we look at what the humble egg can deliver in terms of macro- and micronutrients, we may be better off holding onto our well-earned pennies and popping a hard-boiled egg or two into a lunch box instead.”

She highlights that eggs are one of the ‘best sources of high-quality protein only inferior to breast milk’, and that eating whole eggs appears to be more beneficial in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, the process of building muscle, than egg whites alone.

The article also reviews the changes in advice on eggs in recent years, confirming that consumption limits have been removed from the majority of national dietary advice recommendations and that the antioxidants found in eggs may play a protective role with respect to heart disease.

Alongside protein, the author reaffirms that eggs contain a powerhouse of nutrients. While reaching recommended vitamin D levels can be a challenge for Brits, eating just two eggs provides more than 20% of the 400IU (10mcg) RNI for vitamin D as recommended by Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. The egg also provides iron and zinc, which are crucial for immune and cognitive function, and amongst many other benefits, the author notes that eggs are a source of choline which is crucial for infant development and eye health.

The author concludes, “Based on the current evidence available, the inclusion of eggs in a healthy balanced diet is not associated with an increased cardiovascular disease risk. In the future, even more benefits of the bioactive compounds in eggs, in particular certain egg proteins, may be found, as the role of many of these compounds has yet to be identified.”


The research review by Laura Kaar, a Dietetics student at Trinity College Dublin and Technological University of Dublin, is published in the August/September issue of Network Health Digest.