Posted on Nov 07, 2016, 6 a.m.
Adding whole eggs to a salad increases the amount of Vitamin E absorbed from the vegetables
Research from Purdue University, published in The Journal of Nutrition, reveals that adding whole eggs to a colorful salad has the additional value of boosting the amount of Vitamin E that the body absorbs from the vegetables. Wayne Campbell, a nutrition science professor, states that, in the normal diet in America, Vitamin E is the nutrient that is the second-most under-consumed, a problem because Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Jung Eun Kim, a Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue postdoctoral researcher, found that the absorption of Vitamin E was four to seven fold higher by adding three whole eggs to a salad. The absorption was measured from real foods instead of the mega-dose amounts of the vitamin in supplements. Vitamin E is found in seeds, nuts, and oils and is absorbed with dietary fats. Eggs contain a small amount of Vitamin E along with unsaturated fatty acids, essential amino acids, and B vitamins. This study supports a way to increase the absorption of Vitamin E and showed that one food can improve the nutritional value of another food just by consuming them together.
This research is an extension of a previous study by Kim, Campbell, and Mario Ferruzzi, a North Carolina State University professor, in June of 2015. That study showed that adding eggs to a salad caused an overall increase in the absorption of the carotenoids in the vegetables including alpha-carotene, lutein, beta-carotene, lycopene and zeaxanthin. The absorption was three to eight fold higher when three eggs, rather than no eggs were included.
Both studies included 16 participants who consumed a salad with raw mixed vegetables with no eggs (0 grams), a salad with one-and-a-half eggs (75 grams), and a salad with three eggs (150 grams). The salads also had three grams of canola oil, and the eggs were scrambled so that the whole eggs were consumed. Prior research conducted by Ferruzzi and Campbell showed that there was more absorption of carotenoids in one larger salad consumed at one meal, rather than smaller salads at two meals during the same day.
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Egg consumption increases Vitamin E Absorption from Co-Consumed Raw Mixed Vegetables in Healthy Young Men Jung Eun Kim, Mario G. Ferruzzi and Wayne W. Campbell doi: 10.3945/jn.116.236307