New research conducted by scientists at the University of Eastern Finland has shown that regular consumption of eggs can cut the danger of developing Type 2 diabetes by a staggering 40 percent.
The nutrients in eggs improve the way the human body metabolises sugar and has an anti-inflammatory effect, which scientists believe may be part of the reason why they are so effective at treating diabetes.
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The study contradicts the conventional belief that eggs are “bad for your health” and should only be eaten rarely.
The Finnish scientists analysed the eating habits of 2,332 middle-aged men who signed up to a study in the l980s.
Over the next 20 years, 432 of the men developed Type 2 diabetes.
The scientists found that men who ate roughly four eggs a week were 38 per cent less likely to fall ill than those who rarely or never ate eggs. They had lower blood sugar levels without seeing a steep rise in cholesterol.
The researchers said that eating more than four eggs a week did not seem to increase protection and stressed that they did not look at how the eggs were cooked.
Boiling, scrambling and poaching are regarded as the healthiest options while frying eggs can increase cholesterol intake by 50 per cent.
Professor Jyrki Virtanen said: “Eggs are a common, affordable, and readily available food item and a good source of potentially beneficial nutrients.
“These include high-quality protein, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. In addition, they include several bioactive compounds which have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties.”
Anthony Barnett, a professor of medicine and diabetes at Birmingham University, said: “We have been told for years to cut our egg consumption because the high cholesterol may increase health risks.
“This study suggests that moderate egg consumption may be good for us.
“The specific suggestion of a protective effect against diabetes is interesting and
needs further study to explain why this might be the case.”
The Finnish study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, come as the NHS is struggling to cope with soaring numbers of patients with Type 2 diabetes.
According to some estimates the number of Britons with the condition will double from 2.5million now to five million by 2030.
Richard Elliott, from the charity Diabetes UK, said the study “adds to evidence that eggs can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet”.
He said: “It’s best to cook them without adding salt or fat, because saturated fat has a greater impact on blood cholesterol levels than the cholesterol found in eggs.”