Eggs: Healthy or Risky? A Review of Evidence from High Quality Studies on Hen’s Eggs
Myers, M.; Ruxton, C.H.S. Eggs: Healthy or Risky? A Review of Evidence from High Quality Studies on Hen’s Eggs. Nutrients 2023, 15, 2657. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15122657
Hen’s eggs (from Gallus gallus domesticus) provide choline, folate, vitamin D, iodine, B vitamins and high-quality protein and are no longer viewed by national bodies as a risk factor for hypercholesterolaemia and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Yet, questions remain about the benefits and risks of eating eggs regularly. This review evaluates recent high-quality evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCT) and meta-analyses of observational studies and considers new areas of interest, such as weight management, protein metabolism, allergy risk and sustainability. In several RCT, eggs increased muscle protein synthesis and lowered fat mass, which could support optimal body composition. Eggs within a meal improved satiety, which could translate into lower energy intakes, although more RCT are needed. In observational studies, higher egg consumption was associated with a null effect or a modest reduced risk of CVD. For type 2 diabetes (T2D) incidence and risk of CVD in people with T2D, there were inconsistencies between observational and RCT data, with the former noting positive associations and the latter seeing no effect of higher egg intake on markers of T2D and CVD. Sustainability metrics suggest that eggs have the lowest planetary impact amongst animal proteins. To lower allergy risk, earlier introduction of eggs into weaning diets is warranted. In conclusion, the balance of evidence points to eggs being a nutritious food suggesting there are broad health benefits from including eggs in the diet at intakes higher than that currently consumed by European populations.