What makes for more healthy eggs?

August 4th, 2011 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 4 (IANS) Eggs, one of the most popular edible items in the world, have always been mired in controversy.

Research by Niva Shapira of Tel Aviv University indicates that when hens are fed with a diet low in omega-6 fatty acids, their eggs are likely to cause less oxidative damage to health.

Eggs high in omega-6 fatty acids heighten cholesterol’s tendency to oxidize, which forms dangerous plaque in our arteries, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports.

Shapira’s research shows that eggs laid by hens with healthier feed can lessen oxidation of LDL or bad cholesterol. But healthier eggs are likely to cost more, she says, according to a Tel Aviv University statement.

Feed containing products high in omega-6 fatty acids, such as maize, soy, and their oils, are much cheaper for egg producers to purchase.

Shapira and fellow researchers designed feeds high in anti-oxidants and lower in omega-6 fatty acids, based on wheat, barley, and milo, given to young hens.

Their results were measured against daily intake of two grocery store eggs, and a weekly intake of only two to four special eggs.

Daily consumption of two industry-standard eggs, high in omega-6, caused a 40 percent increase in LDL oxidizability in participants.

After eating two per day of the special eggs, with both high anti-oxidant and low omega-6 levels, however, LDL oxidation levels were similar to the control group eating only two to four eggs a week.

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