Adding eggs to salad can boost vitamin E absorption
Adding eggs to salads can promote better absorption of vitamin E in the body, a new study claims.
Researchers at Purdue University in Indiana assert that vitamin E is the second-most under-consumed nutrient in the average American diet, which is problematic because this fat-soluble nutrient has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
But in their research to find new ways the vitamin can be incorporated into people’s diets, they discovered that adding three whole eggs in a vegetable salad could boost vitamin E absorption from the vegetables.
Postdoctoral researcher Jung Eun Kim said they found vitamin E absorption was four to seven-fold higher when three whole eggs were added to a salad.
“This study is novel because we measured the absorption of vitamin E from real foods, rather than supplements, which contain mega-dose amounts of vitamin E,” she said.
For the study, the researchers enrolled 16 healthy young men. The participants consumed a raw mixed -vegetable salad with no eggs, a salad with one and a half eggs and a salad with three eggs; 0 grams, 75 grams and 150 grams of eggs, respectively. All salads served to the participants contained three grams of canola oil and the eggs added were all scrambled.
Vitamin E, which is absorbed along with dietary fats, is often found in oils, seeds and nuts.
Eggs, a nutrient-rich food containing essential amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins, also contain a small amount of vitamin E.
The study supports a way to increase the absorption of vitamin E found in foods that contain low dietary fat and also highlights how one food can improve the nutrition value of another food when they are consumed together.
This research is an extension of a study that Professor Wayne Campbell and Kim, along with Mario Ferruzzi, a professor at North Carolina State University, reported in June last year (15), where they found that by adding eggs to a salad there was an overall increased absorption of the vegetables' carotenoids, which can act as antioxidants in the body.
The findings are published in The Journal of Nutrition.