PhotoFor many health-conscious consumers, the debate over whether or not eggs are helping or hurting our diets has been a longstanding one. Now, researchers have found that the popular breakfast food may actually help diabetes sufferers.

According to a new study, scientists have discovered that because of the compounds found in eggs, consumers who have one egg per day could be at a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“The purpose of the current study was to explore potential compounds that could explain the association using non-targeted metabolomics, a technique that enables a broad profiling of chemicals in a sample,” said researcher Stefania Noerman.

Analyzing egg consumption

The researchers analyzed blood samples from over 200 middle-aged male participants in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.

The blood samples were broken down into four groups and then analyzed. The groups consisted of participants who ate more eggs, those who ate fewer eggs, those who remained healthy over the course of the study, and those who developed type 2 diabetes. For the study, eating “more” eggs was an average of one per day, while eating “fewer” eggs was roughly two per week.

The researchers found that the participants who were eating at least one egg per day were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, which they credit to certain lipid molecules that were found in their blood samples.

Conversely, the researchers noted that tyrosine -- an amino acid -- was found to be associated with higher risks of developing type 2 diabetes. Moving forward, the group is hoping more research can be done in this area to slow the development of type 2 diabetes.

“Although it is too early to draw any causal conclusions, we now have some hints about certain egg-related compounds that may have a role in type 2 diabetes development,” Noerman said. “Further detailed investigations with both cell models and intervention studies in humans that use modern techniques, such as metabolomics, are needed to understand the mechanisms behind physiological effects of egg intake.”

Staying informed

A recent study found that there are several indicators of diabetes that can be identified two decades before diagnosis.  

Researchers discovered that resistance to insulin, fasting glucose levels, and body mass index (BMI) were all common in those that either developed prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Moreover, these symptoms were present up to a decade before an official diagnosis.

“A much earlier intervention trail, either drug or lifestyle related, is warranted,” said Dr. Hiroyuki Sagesaka.

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