Eggs, veg­eta­bles & EYE HEALTH

The Poultry Bulletin - - LOCAL NEWS -

Two decades of fol­lowup, of more than 100,000 par­tic­i­pants in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Pro­fes­sion­als Fol­low-up Study finds that higher in­take of bio-avail­able carotenoids, par­tic­u­larly lutein and zeax­an­thin and al­pha-carotene, are as­so­ci­ated with a re­duced risk of ad­vanced age-re­lated mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion (AMD), ac­cord­ing to re­search.

“Be­cause other carotenoids may also have a pro­tec­tive role, a pub­lic health strat­egy of in­creas­ing the con­sump­tion of a wide va­ri­ety of fruits and veg­eta­bles rich in carotenoids could be most ben­e­fi­cial and is com­pat­i­ble with cur­rent di­etary guide­lines,” writes Dr Juan Wu, of the Har­vard TH Chan School of Pub­lic Health, Bos­ton, and col­leagues in a re­cent ar­ti­cle in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion. These find­ings add to the ex­ist­ing body of ev­i­dence that carotenoids play an im­por­tant role in pre­vent­ing AMD.

Re­search has also shown that con­sum­ing cooked whole eggs with raw veg­eta­bles greatly in­creases ab­sorp­tion of a va­ri­ety of carotenoids, in­clud­ing lutein, zeax­an­thin and al­pha-carotene. A study as­sess­ing the ef­fects of egg con­sump­tion on the ab­sorp­tion of carotenoids from a raw mixed vegetable salad found that when the salad was con­sumed with 3 whole cooked eggs, the ab­sorp­tion in­creased 3-9 fold.

A study in­volv­ing 33 men and women con­sum­ing 1 egg per day for 5 weeks re­ported in­creased serum lutein (26%), and zeax­an­thin (38%), but serum con­cen­tra­tions of to­tal choles­terol, LDL (bad) choles­terol, HDL (good) choles­terol and triglyc­erides were not af­fected. In another study it was re­ported that daily in­take of 3 eggs for 12 weeks in­creased the lutein and zeax­an­thin by 21% and 48%, re­spec­tively in 20 adults. Thus, egg yolk could be an im­por­tant di­etary source to im­prove lutein and zeax­an­thin sta­tus for the pre­ven­tion of AMD in adults.

In­creas­ing age is the dom­i­nat­ing fac­tor for the on­set of AMD be­cause of phys­i­o­log­i­cal and bio­chem­i­cal changes due to old age. Eggs are an af­ford­able source of these es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents for the el­derly and to­gether with fruit and veg­eta­bles, may be an im­por­tant strat­egy to help pre­vent and man­age AMD.¡

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