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Omega-3 eggs get extra boost from new research

A Canadian study has shown that eating a breakfast of eggs enriched with omega-3 could improve blood triglyceride levels, boost heart health, and help people reach their omega-3 recommended intakes.

Extensive studies have shown that Omega-3 (EPA/DHA) has the potential to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

According to researchers from the University of Guelph, who reported their findings in the journal Food Research International (Vol. 39, pp. 910-916), eating Omega-3 enriched eggs could help make up the omega-3 shortfall currently observed in many populations.

The current recommended intake of very long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the UK is 450mg per day. Yet researchers estimate that the current mean intake amongst adults is only 282 mg per day.

In this study, 16 healthy men with moderately elevated levels of triglycerides (more than 88.5 milligrams per decilitre of serum) ate either a liquid egg breakfast or a control breakfast.

The liquid egg breakfast provided 0.63g per day of EPA and 0.64g per day of DHA, while the control breakfast provided 0.013g per day of EPA plus DHA.

Blood samples taken from the men found that the egg breakfast decreased triglyceride levels by 53.1 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL). The control breakfast led to a reduction of 25.4 mg/dL.

A one millimoles per litre (mmol/L) increase in triglyceride levels can increase the risk of CVD by 76 per cent in women and 32 percent in men. The decreases observed in this study are equivalent to 0.6 mmol/L for the egg breakfast, and 0.29 mmol/L for the control breakfast.

The liquid egg diet with 1.3g of EPA/DHA contained 240 kcal, approximately 10 percent of the total daily caloric intake. The EPA/DHA content in the liquid egg product (which were not reported to have a fishy taste) is significantly higher than that for many types of fish, including tuna, halibut and cod.

"This human study indicates the potential for a functional food (liquid egg) containing fish-derived EPA/DHA to favourably influence multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease," concluded the researchers.

Editor WorldPoultry

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