Feeding eggs to infants could provide them with key nutrients for better brains, according to a study. The research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that infants who were in introduced to eggs beginning at six months showed significantly higher blood concentrations of choline, other biomarkers in choline pathways, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). “Eggs have been consumed throughout human history, but the full potential of this nutritionally complete food has yet to be recognised in many resource-poor settings around the world,” said Lora Iannotti, from the Washington University, St. Louis in the US.
Choline (a nutrient that acts like vitamin B) and DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a structural component of the brain) play vital roles in infant brain development and function. “Like milk or seeds, eggs are designed to support the early growth and development of an organism and are, therefore, dense in nutrient content,” Iannotti said. “Eggs provide essential fatty acids, proteins, choline, vitamins A and B12, selenium and other critical nutrients at levels above or comparable to those found in other animal food products, but they are relatively more affordable,” Iannotti said.
Eggs deliver their nutrients in the holistic package, or “food matrix,” which improves absorption and metabolism, Iannotti said. Children aged 6-9 months were randomly assigned to be given one egg per day for six months, versus a control group, which did not receive eggs. The results showed that early introduction of eggs significantly improved linear growth and reduced stunting among infants who were introduced to eggs beginning at 6 months.