Prolonged Egg Supplement Advances Growing Child's Growth and Gut Microbiota

Suta S et al, February 2023, Prolonged Egg Supplement Advances Growing Child's Growth and Gut Microbiota, Nutrients, DOI: 10.3390/nu15051143


Protein-energy malnutrition still impacts children's growth and development. We investigated the prolonged effects of egg supplementation on growth and microbiota in primary school children. For this study, 8-14-year-old students (51.5% F) in six rural schools in Thailand were randomly assigned into three groups: (1) whole egg (WE), consuming 10 additional eggs/week (n = 238) (n = 238); (2) protein substitute (PS), consuming yolk-free egg substitutes equivalent to 10 eggs/week (n = 200); and (3) control group (C, (n = 197)).

The outcomes were measured at week 0, 14, and 35. At the baseline, 17% of the students were underweight, 18% were stunted, and 13% were wasted. At week 35, compared to the C group the weight and height difference increased significantly in the WE group (3.6 ± 23.5 kg, p < 0.001; 5.1 ± 23.2 cm, p < 0.001). No significant differences in weight or height were observed between the PS and C groups. Significant decreases in atherogenic lipoproteins were observed in the WE, but not in PS group. HDL-cholesterol tended to increase in the WE group (0.02 ± 0.59 mmol/L, ns). The bacterial diversity was similar among the groups.

The relative abundance of Bifidobacterium increased by 1.28-fold in the WE group compared to the baseline and differential abundance analysis which indicated that Lachnospira increased and Varibaculum decreased significantly. In conclusion, prolonged whole egg supplementation is an effective intervention to improve growth, nutritional biomarkers, and gut microbiota with unaltered adverse effects on blood lipoproteins.

Full research paper can be viewed here