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The nutritional properties and health benefits of eggs

C.H.S. Ruxton (Nutrition Communications, Cupar, UK)
E. Derbyshire (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
S. Gibson (Sig‐Nurture Ltd, Guildford, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 25 May 2010




Advice about the role of eggs in the diet has changed several times over the decades. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate published evidence reporting associations between egg consumption, egg nutrients and health.


The scientific literature was searched using Medline and key words relevant to eggs and egg nutrients. In addition, a new secondary analysis of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) was undertaken to examine nutritional and health differences between consumers and non‐consumers of eggs.


Eggs are a rich source of protein and several essential nutrients, particularly vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium and choline. Emerging evidence suggests that eating eggs is associated with satiety, weight management and better diet quality. In addition, antioxidants found in egg yolk may help prevent age‐related macular degeneration. The secondary analysis showed that regular egg consumers with a low red and processed meat (RPM) intake ate healthier diets and had a better micronutrient status than those who did not eat eggs but who had a high RPM intake. It was concluded that egg consumption, at a range of intakes, was associated with nutrition and health benefits.

Research limitations/implications

More research on eggs, and egg nutrients, is needed to confirm the health benefits. Future studies should control for other dietary and lifestyle factors.


This paper develops knowledge about egg consumption beyond cholesterol content and provides new evidence from a secondary analysis of a large national dietary database.



Ruxton, C.H.S., Derbyshire, E. and Gibson, S. (2010), "The nutritional properties and health benefits of eggs", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 263-279.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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