A 2011 study from Cambridge University published in the journal Neuron suggested that egg proteins can help consumers stay awake and alert during the working day.
“This study provides yet more proof that eggs are a superfood,” said Dr. Carrie Ruxton, a British Egg Information Service nutritionist. “As well as being rich in vitamins, minerals and protein, eggs make us feel fuller for longer after meals, thus helping with weight control.”
A recent article from WATTAgNet said it is possible to feed animals higher levels of certain nutrients to enrich the eggs, meat or milk they produce. It said eggs are a good example of a successfully marketed enriched animal product. The level in selenium-enriched brands sold means that one egg supplies 50 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) — making up the shortfall in normal dietary ranges. There have been numerous trials showing the effectiveness of increasing selenium levels in eggs by feeding hens organic selenium.
Omega 3-enriched eggs have been around for a while, but the ingredients fed to the hens are changing. In the past, flaxseed/linseed was used to increase omega-3 levels, but now micro-algal products can directly increase DHA without “off-odors” being a concern.
The research in the 2011 study focused on specialized brain cells called orexin-hypocretin neurons. Wakefulness and energy rely on signals transmitted by these cells. Reduced orexin-hypocretin activity results in narcolepsy – a disorder marked by the sudden onset of sleep. The Cambridge team found that protein components of the type found in eggs whites stimulated the neurons much more than other nutrients. The amino acids appeared to stop glucose from blocking the cells.
Egg proteins can help consumers stay awake and alert during the working day, says a study from Cambridge University in the UK published in the Journal Neuron. The study suggests that a cellular mechanism may allow brain cells to translate different diets into different patterns of activity.