Daily egg consumption is linked to better bone health
Daily egg consumption is linked to better bone health

Your morning scrambled eggs can do more than just fuel you until lunch—it can also strengthen your skeleton.

A new study has found that consumption of whole eggs is associated with greater bone mineral density in the US population. The study was published in January in Food and function.

Calcium-rich foods like leafy greens and dairy products have long been considered the healthiest choices for bones, but they’re far from the only foods that support a healthy skeleton. This new research may solidify eggs as another dietary option for reducing the risk of osteoporosis (weak bones).

“This is not the first study to link egg consumption to bone health,” said study author Weihong Chen, MD, chief of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Hello.

A preprint scoping review published in October called for more evidence on the topic, but said eggs may be a way to increase bone density and reduce fracture risk among older adults. Additional research, such as a 2021 study in Journal of Midlife Healthalso found a link between eating whole eggs and stronger bones, Chen pointed out.

However, Chen and her colleagues’ study may have more impact than previous ones because, to her knowledge, it included more participants.

Here’s what experts say about the new study, and how eggs can help protect you from osteoporosis.

Olivia/Getty Images

To learn more about how an egg-rich diet might affect people’s bone health, Chen and her colleagues designed a study involving more than 19,000 people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This longitudinal study has been around since the early 1960s, but this study used data collected from 2005–2010, 2013–2014, and 2017–2018.

The researchers had access to the bone mineral density (BMD) of these participants, as well as the results of their egg consumption survey. The team’s analysis revealed that participants who consumed at least 3.53 ounces of whole eggs daily — about two large eggs — had significantly increased levels of BMD in the hips and spine.

Bone mineral density measures calcium and other minerals in the bones. Low BMD is a sign of osteoporosis – when bones are less dense, they are more likely to break.

Older people are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis because as we age we lose more bone than we build. In particular, older women may be more prone to the condition because estrogen levels (which help build and maintain strong bones) drop after menopause.

But age and gender aren’t the only factors that play a role in a person’s risk of osteoporosis. Poor nutrition, low levels of physical activity, smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and long-term use of certain medications such as corticosteroids can put a person at risk for weak, brittle bones.

Eggs are well known for being a low-calorie breakfast option, as well as containing a moderate amount of protein (about 6 grams per large chicken egg). However, people may not turn to eggs as a way to protect their bone health—after all, eggs aren’t high in calcium, containing only 24 milligrams, or about 2 percent of an adult’s recommended daily intake.

But according to a new Food and function A study shows that eggs appear to activate a group of body enzymes called alkaline phosphatase that can strengthen bones.

“Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a group of enzymes mainly existing in the liver, bone, kidney, etc., which is a biomarker of bone metabolism and is not part of the egg,” Chen explained. “Whole egg consumption may affect ALP production, which significantly affects bone mineral density of both the femur and lumbar spine.”

The researchers found that the role of ALP accounted for about 72% of the effect of eggs on bone density in the femur and 83% in the lumbar spine.

“[This suggests] that much of the benefit of egg consumption on these bone areas is due to the way they affect ALP levels,” Chen said.

In addition to this enzymatic effect, eggs are also rich in several nutrients that support healthy bones.

“Eggs contain vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium, a mineral that’s essential for healthy bones,” Kathryn Piper, RDN, registered dietitian and founder of The Age-Defying Dietitian said. Hello. “Plus, eggs are full of protein, zinc and other minerals that contribute to overall bone health.”

In fact, the protein in eggs is another possible reason for their bone-building ability.

“Eggs are an excellent source of protein, and previous studies have shown the indispensable role of protein in calcium and phosphorus metabolism, vitamin transport and the balance of bone remodeling,” Chen said.

Egg protein even contains amino acid sequences called bioactive peptides, which may have additional benefits for bones, she noted.

For years, the discussion surrounding the healthiness of eggs has been filled with concerns that they lead to high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease. However, research shows that eggs can be part of a heart-healthy diet, and the American Heart Association even encourages Americans to eat eggs every day as a source of high-quality protein.

“Studies show that moderate egg consumption (about one to two whole eggs per day) does not significantly affect cholesterol levels in healthy individuals,” Piper added.

People with pre-existing high cholesterol should discuss egg intake with their doctor, Piper said, but in general, eating about two eggs a day seems to improve both heart and bone health.

When incorporating eggs into a healthy diet, just remember that the way you prepare them matters.

“Boil, poach, or lightly scramble eggs with minimal oil,” suggested Piper. “These cooking methods maximize the nutritional benefits of eggs without adding unhealthy fats.”

Also, what you put in the eggs can make or break the healthiness of the food.

“For a more balanced approach, combine eggs with nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, whole grains and fruits,” she added. “Think omelets loaded with veggies, avocado toast, salads or whole-wheat egg sandwiches.”

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *