I’m sure you’ve noticed how expensive eggs have gotten lately. The price has soared more than any other food in the supermarket…up 60% from one year ago.1
One reason for skyrocketing prices is the ongoing avian flu epidemic. But another reason is that demand for “nature’s perfect food” has increased substantially.
And that is good news because eggs are essential for your health – including the fight against Alzheimer’s.
And that means they’re worth every penny for the way they protect your brain.
Two breakthrough studies back up what I’ve been telling my patients for over three decades…
That the choline in eggs has the potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
This first study highlights how a choline deficiency leads to physical and neurological changes in the brain that result in memory loss.
You see, choline is the precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in your brain responsible for the continual communication between your nerve cells and your brain.
As levels of acetylcholine drop, your brain starts to “misfire.” And before long, you lose focus, your memory gets fuzzy, and you quickly forget why you went to the grocery store.
This backs up earlier research published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. In that study, scientists poured through data taken from more than 25,000 participants.
Recruited between 1992 and 1996, the participants’ ages ranged between 30 and 70 years old. Researchers examined the relationship between egg consumption and the risk of dementia.
Over time, researchers recorded 774 incidents of dementia – 518 of which were Alzheimer’s disease.
As it turns out, those who ate the least amount of eggs put themselves at the highest risk. The research team determined that egg consumption significantly reduced their risk for cognitive decline.2
But eggs do more than protect your brain from threats…
They reverse damage in the brain and improve cognitive function.
In a second study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists examined the diets of almost 2,500 men aged between 42 and 60 years old over a period of 22 years. As the study progressed, 337 of them developed a cognitive disorder –mostly Alzheimer’s.
By the end of the study, researchers found that egg consumption improved performance in neuropsychological tests of the frontal lobe – the part of the brain that regulates higher-level thinking.3
Of course, eggs do much more than protect your memories. As nature’s perfect food, they are packed with nutrients that provide numerous health benefits, including:
- Defend against diabetes. A large study of middle-aged men found that eating five eggs a week improved blood metabolic profiles and lowered their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.4 A second study determined that regularly eating eggs benefits fasting blood sugar.5
- Protect your heart. In a 2022 study of almost half a million older adults, researchers found that those who ate eggs every day had a substantially lower risk of heart disease than those who didn’t.6 This confirms an earlier 14-year study out of Harvard that found no link between egg consumption and heart disease.7
- Lower your risk of stroke. A study of 600,000 people found that eating an egg a day lowered stroke risk by 12%.8
- Reduce stress and improve mental health. Eggs have high levels of lysine, which has been found to lower stress and eliminate anxiety. Eggs also contain the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, your brain’s “happy hormone.”
A daily diet of two eggs a day can also build muscle and encourage weight loss… keep your immune system in top shape… promote better vision and avoid macular degeneration… help your body make more energy… and repair skin tissue and increase elasticity.
Choose the Best Egg You Can Get
I eat two to three eggs every day. But not just any egg…
Most supermarket eggs come from factory-farmed chickens. Not only are chickens raised in those conditions 25 times more likely to become contaminated with salmonella, but they’re also less nutritious than eggs from hens that are allowed to roam free.
I understand that the high price of eggs makes it hard to think about paying even more for the “Rolls Royce” of eggs. But if possible, I’d consider cutting costs elsewhere.
- Look for the words “Pasture-Raised” on the label. Pastured chickens live on small farms where they run around freely. Each day they’re herded in small groups to fresh pastureland. They have fresh greens to eat and a clean environment. These chickens have plenty of space, sunshine, and a natural diet. To find pastured eggs from a local farmer or farmers’ market near you, check out www.LocalHarvest.org. This is my go-to guide for finding the best sources of farm fresh food.
- But don’t confuse pastured with free-range. The USDA allows a “free-range” label if the chicken coop has a door to the outside. But that means a door simply exists. It doesn’t mean the chickens actually ever get to see the light of day.
- If you can’t afford pastured eggs, look for organic. Organic eggs come from cage-free hens fed organic, vegetarian feed. Neither the hens nor their feed is subjected to antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides. Right now, you might be able to find organic eggs at a lower price than conventional eggs. That’s because organic farms haven’t been hit as hard by the avian flu…allowing their prices to remain stable.
If eating eggs isn’t an option, you can still get the brain-boosting benefits from supplementing with choline. A study by Arizona State University researchers on mice revealed that the choline found in eggs could prevent brain inflammation and neurological diseases.9
I recommend women take 425 mg per day, while men should aim for 550 mg a day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. “Table 2. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U. S. City Average, by Detailed Expenditure Category.” www.bls.gov, 12 Jan. 2023, www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.t02.htm.
2. Margara-Escudero H, et al. “Association between egg consumption and dementia risk in the EPIC-Spain dementia cohort.” Front Nutr. 2022;9:827307
3. Ylilauri M, et al. “Association of dietary cholesterol and egg intakes with the risk of incident dementia or Alzheimer disease: the Kuopio Ischaemic heart disease risk factor study.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(2):467-484
4. Noerman S, et al. “Metabolic profiling of high egg consumption and the associated lower risk of type 2 diabetes in middle-aged Finnish men.” Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019 Mar;63(5):e1800605.
5. Pourafshar S, et al.“Egg consumption may improve factors associated with glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in adults with pre- and type II diabetes.”Food Funct. 2018 Aug 15;9(8):4469-4479.
6. Pan L, et al. “Association of egg consumption, metabolic markers, and risk of cardiovascular diseases: A nested case-control study.” eLife, 2022; 11 doi: 10.7554/eLife.72909.
7. Hu FB, et al. “A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women.” JAMA. 1999;281(15):1387-1394.
8. Alexander DD, et al. “Meta-analysis of egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.” J Am Coll Nutr. 2016;35(8):704-716.
9. ASU News. “Study explores effects of dietary choline deficiency on neurologic, systemwide health.” Jan 2023.
https://news.asu.edu/20230117-study-explores-effects-dietary-choline-deficiency-neurologic-systemwide-health. Accessed on February 02, 2023.