March 4, 2009

Eggs provide muscle strength, energy

A review affirms that the high-quality protein in eggs makes a valuable contribution to muscle strength, energy and a sense of fullness, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers reviewed more than 25 protein studies and found that the protein in eggs contributes to strength, power and energy in the following ways:

-- Sustained energy: The protein in eggs provides steady and sustained energy because it does not cause a surge in blood sugar or insulin levels, which can lead to a rebound effect or energy crash as levels drop.

-- Muscle strength: Dietary protein intake directly influences muscle mass, strength and function in people of all ages.

-- Gold-standard protein: The high-quality protein in eggs provides all of the essential amino acids our bodies need to build and maintain muscle mass and it is frequently used as the standard for evaluating the protein quality of other foods.

Review co-author Donald K. Layman, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, said one egg provides 13 percent of the recommended daily value of high-quality protein that helps preserve muscle mass, and helps older adults prevent muscle loss.

While many Americans may be getting enough protein, they need to focus on consuming sources of higher-quality protein, Layman said in a statement.

The review is published in Nutrition Today.