This protein source has the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score, but it’s got plenty of other superpowers, too.
Hey, do you remember John Coffey from “The Green Mile”? (“I’m tired, boss…”) It’s a stretch, but I see a similarity between Coffey and chicken eggs. No, really. To begin with, both were wrongly accused of horrible crimes.
In the case of Coffey, he was convicted of murdering a couple of young sisters. In the case of eggs, they were convicted of causing high cholesterol and heart disease, leading to – or playing a role in – the death of millions.
Coffey was never exonerated. He got fried. (Hey! Another similarity!) Eggs, however, were acquitted. In 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines did away with the upper limit for dietary cholesterol, emphasizing that egg consumption no longer needed to be restricted.
Furthermore, several large studies have indicated that eggs don’t increase the biomarkers associated with heart disease, but even the studies that still do are suspect.
Oh yeah, yet another similarity between John Coffey and eggs: Each had/have a supernatural, or nearly supernatural, energy to heal.
Researchers Michael Puglisi and Maria Luz Fernandez compiled only a few of the attributes of eggs within the journal “Vitamins.” I’ve included a few of the most essential attributes under, with some more information from my private egg information financial institution/information fridge.
Eggs and Skeletal Muscle Well being
The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score, or PDCAAS, is the gold standard when it comes to measuring protein quality. The score is a combination of a particular protein’s digestibility and how well it fulfills amino acid requirements.
So anything over 90% is considered pretty damn good. Meat and fish come in at a hefty 92-94%. Eggs, however, clock in at a surreal 118%.
How do you get a PDCAAS over a hundred? Well, not only is egg protein digested at a 97% rate, it also contains an amino acid complement that, in many cases, exceeds human requirements. Hence the mathematically puzzling number.
Still, most of the people who work with PDCAAS don’t accept any number over 100%, so they just round down. Let’s just say eggs have a perfect protein score.
Multiple studies also show their anabolic strength. When Matsuoka, et al., fed male rats a diet consisting of 20% egg white protein or casein, the egg-protein rats were found to have a greater average carcass mass and greater gastrocnemius weight than the rats that were fed conventional (not micellar) casein. They attributed this difference between egg white and plain casein to greater net protein utilization (95% compared to 70% for casein) from egg white, in addition to the higher digestibility of the eggs.
Of course, eating whole eggs is even more anabolic than consuming egg whites. Van Vliet, et al. (2017) fed younger weight-trained males entire eggs or egg whites (18 grams of protein) and located that the entire eggs spurred a better surge in mTOR, which might be an important cell-signaling advanced for muscle progress. The upper the degrees of mTOR, the better the synthesis of protein.
Most significantly, that very same van Vliet examine discovered that consuming entire eggs elevated post-exercise muscle protein synthesis about 45% greater than plain egg whites.
This obvious superiority of entire eggs in selling protein synthesis in all probability has to do with the numerous micronutrients, phospholipids, and microRNAs contained within the yolk.
The scientific literature is crammed with comparable research, too.
Eggs and Weight Loss
High-protein foods, in general, have a high satiety index (SI), however eggs even have the weird property of suppressing plasma ghrelin ranges (ghrelin is a hormone related to urge for food stimulation): the much less ghrelin swimming via the blood, the much less you wish to binge on Reese’s Items.
Eggs are additionally thought to scale back lipid absorption, along with inhibiting lipase exercise, each of which might logically contribute to a discount in stomach fats.
One examine of 25 males in contrast the SI results of consuming iso-caloric breakfasts consisting of both eggs or bagels (Missimer et al, 2017). Okay, that’s not a lot of a contest – the eggs had been extra filling than the bagels. However what was shocking is that guys who had the egg breakfast consumed fewer energy over the subsequent 24 hours, that means that the impact of eggs on urge for food suppression isn’t any quickly fleeting factor.
One other examine that in contrast consuming eggs to bagels (what’s with all of the bagel research?) for breakfast discovered that the egg group had a 65% better discount in waist circumference and a ten% better discount in physique fats. Once more, not a lot of a shock, however no variations had been discovered within the levels of cholesterol of the 2 teams, regardless of the egg group ingesting an additional 400 mg. of the stuff on daily basis (Rueda, et al, 2013).
Eggs and Sarcopenia
Sarcopenia is the age-related decline of skeletal muscle mass and strength. The resultant loss of function can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and even some cancers.
Then there’s the peculiar malady known as “sarcopenic obesity,” characterized by a big-time loss of muscle mass and concurrent rise in fat mass. This is why many old people look like Mr. Potato Heads pushing a walker.
While just eating virtually any kind of protein would help the elderly population, eggs seem particularly suited to the job. The thing is, it’s difficult for a lot of older people to get the requisite 28 grams of protein they usually need by eating big, unappetizing, intimidating hunks of meat.
They might also have difficulties chewing or swallowing and have pre-existing malnutrition or chronic diseases. Cutting into a T-bone or tackling a quarter-pound burger might seem daunting. Not only that, but they often don’t feel like eating because of poor appetite or low caloric needs in general.
Eggs, however, are incredibly easy to digest and can be eaten at any time, in addition to being inexpensive. It seems the only hurdle would be to convince old folks – who lived in the dark times when eggs were anathema to heart health – that eggs are no longer the cholesterol menace they were thought to be.
Eggs, Immunity, and Protection Against Chronic Disease
Simply by enhancing skeletal muscle health, eggs can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce risk of prehypertension and hypertension, ward off cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, and, in general, reduce overall risk of all-cause mortality.
On a molecular basis, chicken eggs are teeming with immunoglobulin Y (IgY), which is the avian equivalent of the mammalian immunoglobulin G. It’s thought to protect the developing chicken embryo in the same way IgG protects human fetuses. Okay, so how’s that going to help my Uncle Wilbur with the grippe? Well, IgY has been used to promote passive immunity to treat and prevent human and animal diseases caused by hostile microbes.
Egg proteins also contain the enzymes lysosome, avidin, phosvitin, and ovotransferrin, each of which put the whup on various bacterial life processes.
They even offer protection against inflammatory bowel disease and seem to suppress tumors of the colon (egg yolk proteins, specifically).
Okay, Yeah, But How Many Eggs Can I Safely Eat?
The evidence is overwhelming that whole eggs are nutritionally superior entities, but regardless, most of you probably can’t get that cholesterol rap out of your head. Do you treat eggs like they’re something you dare expose yourself to only occasionally, like the midday sun, dental X-rays, or Adele songs? Or do we throw caution to the wind and eat eggs ad libitum?
It’s hard to say definitively because there aren’t any studies that I know of that involved eating a henhouse’s worth of eggs every day.
Still, we can use a little logic to help us make the decision. First, eggs have been “exonerated” by several studies. Secondly, dietary cholesterol has little or no impression on blood ranges of ldl cholesterol. Your liver and intestines manufacture about 80 to 85% of what that you must make cell membranes and to supply hormones, vitamin D, bile acid, and so forth.
The remainder, nonetheless, comes out of your food regimen. Your physique will regulate ranges to some extent, so when you don’t eat sufficient ldl cholesterol, the physique produces extra. Conversely, it produces much less after we eat quite a bit.
However way more causative of unhealthy levels of cholesterol than dietary ldl cholesterol is an unhealthy food regimen normally: a lot of processed carbs, an absence of bodily exercise, and extra weight.
Saturated fat are stated to lift ldl cholesterol, too, however that largely occurs when it’s eaten at the side of ldl cholesterol. And sure, eggs include each sat fats and ldl cholesterol, however the quantity of saturated fats in an egg (about 1.6 grams) is a pittance when in comparison with the common steak (round 21 grams).
So, eff it, I say. Eat your rattling eggs. Their dietary qualities can’t be ignored, and so they shouldn’t be dismissed out of your food regimen. They, like all exonerated criminals, deserve their rightful place in society.
- Puglisi MJ et al. The Health Benefits of Egg Protein. Nutrients. 2022;14: 2904.
- van Vliet S et al. Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of postexercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Dec;106(6):1401-1412. PubMed.