Eggs: making a science-based return to the “healthy food” list
Randomized trial finds no harm in eating more than 12 eggs weekly on a variety of health outcomes, including blood lipids and oxidative stress.
For decades, health experts have largely recommended that we reduce our cholesterol consumption to lower overall cardiovascular disease risk. Originally, this dietary guidance was based on several large studies that found statistical associations between consuming diets rich in cholesterol and heart disease, leading to recommendations to reduce consumption of foods such as eggs, meat, and milk that contain significant amounts of cholesterol. Recently, a growing body of research has raised questions about the direct causal relation between dietary cholesterol intake and circulating plasma cholesterol, and observational evidence has suggested that the statistical associations between dietary cholesterol and heart disease were being driven by other factors, such as physical inactivity and obesity. Moreover, results from several studies now suggest that consuming eggs—rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats and protein—may lower risk for stroke and type 2 diabetes. This research by Fuller and colleagues is an additional study concluding that eggs can be consumed as part of a healthy diet.

References: Fuller NR, Sainsbury A, Caterson ID, Denyer G, Fong M, Gerofi J, Leung C, Lau NS, Williams KH, Januszewski AS, et al. Effect of a high-egg diet on cardiometabolic risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) Study—randomized weight-loss and follow-up phase . Amer J Clin Nutr 2018;107(6):921-31. Editorial by Astrup A. Goodbye to the egg-white omelet—welcome back to the whole-egg omelet . Amer J Clin Nutr 2018;107(6):853-54.
For more information : To contact the corresponding author, Nicholas Fuller, please send an e-mail to . To contact the corresponding author for the editorial, Arne Astrup, please send an e-mail to

Revisiting basic nutrition science: assessing protein absorption
Researchers report new method, using stable isotope-labeled proteins, to measure how much of food protein is actually absorbed into the blood. They find that values vary by type of protein and processing methods.
Protein represents an important dietary component because it not only contributes energy, but also amino acid building blocks and nitrogen critical to the synthesis of molecules essential for life. However, not all dietary protein is created equal. This is because, of the 20 amino acids we need for life, there are 9 that we cannot make ourselves and therefore must get from the diet. Dietary proteins containing all 9 of these “indispensable amino acids” are called “complete proteins,” whereas dietary proteins lacking one or more of them are referred to as “incomplete proteins.” In addition, there is variability in terms of how easily the body digests and absorbs proteins. Nutrition scientists have long been interested in characterizing dietary protein quality and digestibility so that protein recommendations can be tailored to age, health, and availability of various foods. However, this has been hampered by an inability to accurately measure what percentage of a food’s amino acids is actually absorbed in the intestine and utilized by the body. In this article, a research team led by Anura Kurpad (St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, India) describe a promising new method utilizing stable (nonradioactive) isotopes to do just that.

References: Devi S, Varkey A, Sheshshayee MS, Preston T, Kurpad AV. Measurement of protein digestibility in humans by a dual-tracer method . Amer J Clin Nutr 2018;107(6):984-91. Editorial by Tomé D. Editorial on “Measurement of protein digestibility in humans by a dual tracer method"—a key limiting factor of protein quality . Amer J Clin Nutr 2018;107(6):855-56.
For more information : To contact the corresponding author, Anura Kurpad, please send an e-mail to . To contact the corresponding author for the editorial, Daniel Tomé, please send an e-mail to

Researchers evaluate nationwide folic acid intake in the postfortification era
Results from newly published study suggest that red blood cell folate concentrations are consistent with neural tube defect prevention for most US women, but that some cases still might be prevented by consuming additional folic acid from supplements and fortified foods.
Neural tube defects are a group of congenital conditions characterized by incomplete closure of the spinal column during early fetal development. Neural tube defects (for example, spina bifida) can result in serious and life-threatening physical and physiological problems. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that ~3,300 US infants are born with some form of neural tube defect annually. The good news is that the prevalence of neural tube defects has decreased over the past several decades. This welcomed trend is thought to be largely due to the federally driven decision to require all foods labeled as being “enriched” to contain a specified amount of folic acid (a synthetic form of the B-vitamin folate). In addition, all sexually active women of child-bearing age are encouraged to take folic acid–containing supplements. These measures were taken because scientific evidence shows that consuming folic acid can lower risk of giving birth to an infant with a neural tube defect. In this article, Crider and colleagues evaluated whether current folate and folic acid consumption among reproductive-age women is adequate in terms of neural tube defect prevention

For more information : To contact the corresponding author, Krista Crider, please send an e-mail to . To contact the corresponding author for the editorial, Anne Molloy, please send an e-mail to

Sugar may activate brains of teens at risk of obesity more than fat
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, study finds that teens at high risk of becoming obese have greater activation of several important brain regions in response to consuming highly appetizing foods, particularly those high in sugar.
The increase in obesity among teenagers is one of the most alarming aspects of today’s global obesity. Over the past 2 decades, the percentage of obese American teens doubled. Although inadequate physical activity plays a role in excess weight gain, much of it is due to overconsumption of unhealthy foods. The million-dollar question remains as to why only some individuals choose unhealthy food whereas others, often without even thinking about it, simply do not. One possibility is that the former get more pleasure out of eating than the latter. To test whether this might be true, Kyle Burger and Grace Shearrer (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) conducted an insightful experiment in which they studied brain responses when adolescents tasted various types of milkshakes. Their results indicating that healthy-weight adolescents at high-risk of becoming obese are particularly sensitive to sugar are published in the June 2018 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

R eference: Shearrer GE, Stice E, Burger KS. Adolescents at high risk of obesity show greater striatal response to increased sugar content in milkshakes . Amer J Clin Nutr 2018;107(6):859-66.
For more information : To contact the corresponding author, Kyle Burger, please send an e-mail to .

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