Eggs improve biomarkers related to infant brain development

December 21, 2017 by Neil Schoenherr, Washington University in St. Louis
Eggs improve biomarkers related to infant brain development
Credit: Washington University in St. Louis

Feeding eggs to infants could provide them with key nutrients for better brains.

A study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis finds who were in introduced to eggs beginning at 6 months showed significantly higher blood concentrations of , other biomarkers in choline pathways, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

"Eggs have been consumed throughout human history, but the full potential of this nutritionally complete food has yet to be recognized in many resource-poor settings around the world," said Lora Iannotti, associate dean for public health and associate professor at the Brown School.

She is lead author of the study, "Eggs Early in Complementary Feeding Increase Choline Pathway Biomarkers and DHA: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Ecuador," published this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Choline (a nutrient that acts like vitamin B) and DHA (an that serves as a structural component of the brain) play vital roles in and function.

"Like milk or seeds, eggs are designed to support the early growth and development of an organism and are, therefore, dense in nutrient content," Iannotti said. "Eggs provide essential fatty acids, proteins, choline, vitamins A and B12, selenium and other critical nutrients at levels above or comparable to those found in other animal food products, but they are relatively more affordable."

Eggs deliver their nutrients in holistic package, or "food matrix," which improves absorption and metabolism, Iannotti said.

Iannotti and her co-authors from such universities as Texas, Maryland and Johns Hopkins conducted a randomized, controlled trial in Ecuador in 2015. Children ages 6-9 months were randomly assigned to be given one egg per day for 6 months, versus a control group, which did not receive eggs.

A previous paper from the same study, published in Pediatrics in June, showed that early introduction of eggs significantly improved linear growth and reduced stunting among infants who were introduced to beginning at 6 months.

Explore further: Eggs can significantly increase growth in young children

More information: Lora L Iannotti et al. Eggs early in complementary feeding increase choline pathway biomarkers and DHA: a randomized controlled trial in Ecuador, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2017). DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.117.160515

Lora L. Iannotti et al. Eggs in Early Complementary Feeding and Child Growth: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Pediatrics (2017). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-3459

Related Stories

Eggs can significantly increase growth in young children

June 7, 2017
Eggs significantly increased growth and reduced stunting by 47 percent in young children, finds a new study from a leading expert on child nutrition at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. This was a much ...

Choline recommendations during pregnancy may be too low, new study suggests

January 30, 2014
cent research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) found that during pregnancy, and particularly during the third trimester, large amounts of choline may be needed to support fetal development. Conclusions ...

Toss eggs onto salads to increase Vitamin E absorption, study says

October 25, 2016
Adding whole eggs to a colorful salad boosts the amount of Vitamin E the body absorbs from the vegetables, according to research from Purdue University.

700,000 insecticide-tainted eggs imported to UK: govt

August 10, 2017
Around 700,000 eggs implicated in a Dutch insecticide scandal have been distributed in Britain in processed food, authorities said Thursday, while playing down the risk to public health.

Recommended for you

Expert calls for strong, sustainable action to make world roadways safer

December 7, 2018
According to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) report on road safety, more than 1.3 million people die on the world's roadways each year—and millions more are injured or disabled. Yet despite the huge cost to families ...

Hazelnuts improve older adults' micronutrient levels

December 6, 2018
Older adults who added hazelnuts to their diet for a few months significantly improved their levels of two key micronutrients, new research at Oregon State University indicates.

Regular bedtimes and sufficient sleep for children may lead to healthier teens

December 6, 2018
Having a regular, age-appropriate bedtime and getting sufficient sleep from early childhood may be important for healthy body weight in adolescence, according to researchers at Penn State.

Stress from using electronic health records is linked to physician burnout

December 5, 2018
While electronic health records (EHRs) improve communication and access to patient data, researchers found that stress from using EHRs is associated with burnout, particularly for primary care doctors such as pediatricians, ...

Chemicals in personal care and household products linked to earlier puberty in girls

December 4, 2018
Chemicals that are widely used in personal care and household products are linked to girls entering puberty at earlier ages, according to findings from a long-running study of mothers and children published today.

Smokers who roll their own less inclined to quit

December 4, 2018
Smokers who roll their own cigarettes are less likely to try quitting smoking, according to a new study carried out by UCL.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.