More than 422 million people around the world are living with diabetes and new research has revealed the surprising food item that could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in those who haven’t yet been diagnosed.
A new study published in the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research Journal by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland has found eating an egg a day could be associated with a blood metabolite profile that is related to the lower risk of type 2 diabetes. While high intake of eggs has been associated with high cholesterol content in the past, the latest study found they’re also a rich source of bioactive compounds that can have positive impacts on health. This includes lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Because there is so much conflicting information about how healthy eggs can be, researchers explained it can be difficult to determine the health benefits of egg consumption based solely on levels of cholesterol content. What researchers did find is that eating an egg a day could be associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The study specifically analysed middle-aged men who were participating in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor study in eastern Finland. The study did not claim that eating an egg a day could reverse type 2 diabetes in those who were already diagnosed.
“The purpose of the current study was to explore potential compounds that could explain this association using non-targeted metabolomics, a technique that enables a broad profiling of chemicals in a sample,” lead author Stefania Noerman said in a statement.
Using blood samples of participants in the study, researchers found men who ate more eggs had certain lipid molecules in their blood system that positively correlated with the blood profile of people who didn’t have type 2 diabetes. Researchers were also able to identify numerous biochemical compounds in the blood that predicted the higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, such as amino acid tyrosine.
“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.”
Previous studies have found maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways of reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. For example, Better Health Victoria explains that managing weight, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet that’s high in fruit and vegetables and low in sold and highly processed foods, as well as limiting alcohol intake can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
In addition, controlling blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and regularly seeing a GP for updates is also important.
Before undertaking any new diets or making major lifestyle changes, a GP or health professional should always be consulted with to ensure changes are right for individual circumstances.