Scientists examined egg yolks produced by hens fed typical diets of either primarily wheat or corn. They found the yolks contained two amino acids, tryptophan and tyrosine, which have high antioxidant properties.
After analyzing the properties, the researchers determined that two egg yolks in their raw state have almost twice as many antioxidant properties as an apple and about the same as half a serving (25 grams) of cranberries.
"It's a big reduction but it still leaves eggs equal to apples in their antioxidant value,"said one of the researchers.
"Ultimately, we're trying to map antioxidants in egg yolks so we have to look at all of the properties in the yolks that could contain antioxidants, as well as how the eggs are ingested,"adding that he and his team will examine the other type of antioxidant already known to be in eggs, carotenoids, the yellow pigment in egg yolk, as well as peptides.
In previous research, they found that egg proteins were converted by enzymes in the stomach and small intestines and produced peptides that act the same way as ACE inhibitors, prescriptions drugs that are used to lower high blood pressure.
This study highlights the importance of including eggs in the diet. If you eat raw eggs, make sure your eggs are as fresh as possible to avoid salmonella poisoning and preferably free range and organic.
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