Health Functions of Egg Protein
Abstract: Egg protein is a remarkably abundant source of protein, with an amino acid score of 100 and the highest net protein utilization rate. However, there have been relatively fewer studies investigating the health benefits of egg protein. In this review, we have summarized the available information regarding the health benefits of egg proteins based on human studies. In particular, studies conducted on the characteristics of egg whites, as they are high in pure protein, have reported their various health functions, such as increases in muscle mass and strength enhancement, lowering of cholesterol, and visceral fat reduction. Moreover, to facilitate and encourage the use of egg white protein in future, we also discuss its health functions. These benefits were determined by developing an egg white hydrolysate and lactic-fermented egg whites, with the latter treatment simultaneously improving the egg flavor. The health benefits of the protein hydrolysates from the egg yolk (bone growth effect) and eggshell membrane (knee join pain-lowering effect) have been limited in animal studies. Therefore, the consumption of egg protein may contribute to the prevention of physical frailty and metabolic syndromes.
Keywords: antifatigue; cholesterol-lowering; egg; egg protein hydrolysate; egg white; protein; visceral fat-lowering.