LONDON: In some good news for egg lovers, scientists have found that eating eggs may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Research has shown that lifestyle habits, such as exercise and nutrition, play a crucial role in the development of Type 2 diabetes.
In some studies, high-cholesterol diets have been associated with disturbances in glucose metabolism and risk of type 2 diabetes.
In contrast, in some experimental studies, the consumption of eggs has led to improved glucose balance, among other things.
However, there is no experimental data available on the effects of egg consumption on the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
The dietary habits of 2,332 men aged between 42 and 60 years were assessed at the baseline of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, KIHD, at the University of Eastern Finland in 1984-1989.
During a follow-up of 19.3 years, 432 men were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The study found that egg consumption was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes as well as with lower blood glucose levels.
Men who ate approximately four eggs per week had a 37 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than men who only ate approximately one egg per week.
This association persisted even after possible confounding factors such as physical activity, body mass index, smoking and consumption of fruits and vegetables were taken into consideration.
The consumption of more than four eggs did not bring any significant additional benefits.
A possible explanation is that unlike in many other populations, egg consumption in Finland is not strongly associated with unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, low physical activity or consumption of processed meats.
In addition to cholesterol, eggs contain many beneficial nutrients that can have an effect on, for example, glucose metabolism and low-grade inflammation, and thus lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, researchers said.
The findings were published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.