Background

Some studies show that high egg consumption is associated with poor glycemic control and increases the risk of developing diabetes mellitus. This study tested if eggs have any causative role in purported association with alterations in glycemic control and whether it is due to saturated fat that is consumed along with eggs rather than consumption of eggs per se.

Methods

In a randomized partial crossover clinical trial, 48 non-diabetic subjects (age 18-65 years; BMI ≥ 20 kg/m2; fasting glucose < 126 mg/dl; consume ≥ 1 egg/week) received two of four isocaloric, macro nutrient-matched breakfasts with either 1) eggs (EB), 2) saturated fat (SB), 3) eggs and saturated fat (ES) or 4) a control breakfast (CB) in two testing sessions spaced ≥ 7 days apart. Subjects fasted for 10 hours prior to each session. A pre-breakfast blood sample was collected on admission, and one of the four breakfasts was administered. Next, five post-breakfast blood samples were collected at 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 minutes to measure serum glucose and insulin levels. Area under the curve (AUC) and post-prandial 30-minute peak (PP30) of both insulin and glucose were analyzed controlling for the baseline concentrations using mixed effects models accounting for within-subject dependencies using the lme4 and mice packages in R in order to compare these across breakfast assignments.

Results

Neither EB, SB nor ES was associated with a significant difference in AUC nor PP30 of glucose or insulin compared to CB (p > 0.1).

Conclusions

Acutely, the consumption of eggs or saturated fat for breakfast is unlikely to affect glucose or insulin levels in healthy adults. More evidence is needed to assess the long term association between intake of eggs and insulin resistance and overall glycemic control.Funding Sources: American Egg Board