These were two key findings from a study carried out by academics at Ochanomizu University, Toyo University and food firm Kewpie.
Their intervention study sought to determine if the consumption of one egg every day would affect the blood antioxidant status and daily nutritional intakes of female Japanese university students.
They recruited 14 subjects for a four-week study, wherein they were each provided a breakfast that included one boiled egg, one piece of white toast with margarine / jam, vegetable salad, low-sugar yogurt, fruit juice and black tea. Boiled eggs were obtained from the Kewpie Corp.
It was observed that the frequencies of fruit and egg consumption were significantly increased due to the fruit juice and eggs provided at breakfast.
In contrast, the subjects' consumption of confectionery during the intervention was significantly lower than that at the baseline.
The subjects also managed to better adhere to the food-based Japanese dietary guidelines for a healthy diet.
An analysis of their fasting blood samples showed levels of malondialdehyde-modified LDL (MDA-LDL) and oxidative susceptibility of LDL— both serum oxidative stress markers — had been lowered considerably following the intervention.
In addition, the subjects' serum folic acid levels showed a significant increase after the study.
The researchers wrote that regular egg intake during breakfast could help to enhance daily nutritional status and dietary habits, as well as "ameliorate certain indices of antioxidant status in young women".
They added, however, that the study's open design and small sample size may have limited the interpretation of the results.
Still, they said "the study's strengths were that we investigated the dietary records in detail, and that we identified the association between the dietary intervention and blood antioxidant parameters".
They concluded that "eating one egg per day at breakfast could be good for supplying protein and maintaining one's nutritional balance, and we observed that consuming a nutritious breakfast with an egg for four weeks positively affected the dietary habits and two serum oxidative stress markers, i.e., the serum MDA-LDL level and the oxidative susceptibility of LDL, in healthy young women".
"Further studies with a larger number of subjects in a randomised crossover design are needed to precisely evaluate the effect of egg consumption on health in young women."
Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
"Regular egg consumption at breakfast by Japanese woman university students improves daily nutrient intakes: open-labeled observations"
Authors: Chie Taguchi, et al.