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Egg (Chicken)

A shelled vessel for protein and fats in the white and yolk, respectively, that carries a surprisingly large amount of nutrients; especially choline and leucine as well as many carotenoids coloring the yolk. Eggs do not inherently increase circulating cholesterol.

Our evidence-based analysis on egg (chicken) features 21 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Egg (Chicken)

TL;DR - contains multiple supplements

Eggs are the vessel for offspring for various species. Chicken eggs in particular are widely used for human nutrition.

The Egg is divided into a yellow-orange nutrient sac known as the 'Yolk' and the proteinaceous albumin known as the 'White'. The Yolk tends to be the source of most dietary fat and is designed to feed the fetus (if it were present), and the whites the source of most dietary protein and are designed to both supply the yolk with nutrition and to protect the yolk either physically or enzymatically.

Some nutrients or non-nutritive components are placed ubiquitously across the egg, while others are isolated to either the yolk or the white.

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Things To Know & Note

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Ovum, Ova, Eggs, Egg

Scientific Research on Egg (Chicken)

(Note: Every egg is different since every hen is different, and dietary factors affect composition of the egg[1][2][3][4])

The Yolk contains:

  • Dietary Fats and lipids,[5] of which the PUFA content may be affected by hen diet[6]

  • Dietary Cholesterol

  • Vitamin E, which decreases with time and may be reduced by 50% over 40 days (refrigerated)[6]

  • Apovitellinin-I, vitellogenin-1,2 and 3, and apolipoprotein B.[7]

  • Immunoglobulins[8] and Antibodies[9]

  • May contain different scented and tasting molecules dependent on feed[10]

  • Binding proteins for Thaimin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and cobalamin; as well as the respective vitamins.[11]

  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)[12]

  • The bioactive peptide YPEP, which has bone-protective properties.[13]

The White contains:[14]

  • A wide variety of proteins (78 analyzed with high confidence, 148 overall confirmed, 202 possible) that have (mostly) non-nutritive implications.[14]

  • Ovalbumin, Ovotransferrin, and Ovomucoid (collectively 75% of total protein content)[14]

  • Anti-microbial lysosomes[15]

  • Biotin-binding protein Avidin[16]

  • Riboflavin and Biotin[11]

Additionally, the shell contains:

  • Dietary Calcium (as Calcium carbonate)[17]

  • Apovitellenin-I and Vitellogenins (1-3)[18]

  • Ovocleidin-17 and 116, Ovocalyxin-32 and 36, clusterin and Kunitz-like protease inhibitor[19]

  • Uronic Acid[20]

  • Glycosaminoglycans (correlated with shell physical strength)[21]


  1. ^ McNaughton JL. Effect of dietary fiber on egg yolk, liver, and plasma cholesterol concentrations of the laying hen. J Nutr. (1978)
  2. ^ Shang XG, et al. Effects of dietary conjugated linoleic acid on the productivity of laying hens and egg quality during refrigerated storage. Poult Sci. (2004)
  3. ^ Bolden SL, Jensen LS. The effect of marginal levels of calcium, fish meal, torula yeast and alfalfa meal on feed intake, hepatic lipid accumulation, plasma estradiol, and egg shell quality among laying hens. Poult Sci. (1985)
  4. ^ Hodzic A, et al. The influence of dietary palm olein, fish oil and lard on the egg yolk and plasma lipid composition, and performances of laying hens. Pol J Vet Sci. (2008)
  5. ^ Kuksis A. Yolk lipids. Biochim Biophys Acta. (1992)
  6. ^ a b Hayat Z, et al. Oxidative stability and lipid components of eggs from flax-fed hens: effect of dietary antioxidants and storage. Poult Sci. (2010)
  7. ^ Burley RW, Evans AJ, Pearson JA. Molecular aspects of the synthesis and deposition of hens' egg yolk with special reference to low density lipoprotein. Poult Sci. (1993)
  8. ^ Vega C, et al. Egg yolk IgY: protection against rotavirus induced diarrhea and modulatory effect on the systemic and mucosal antibody responses in newborn calves. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. (2011)
  9. ^ Guimarães MC, et al. Growth inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus by chicken egg yolk antibodies. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). (2009)
  10. ^ Plagemann I, et al. Volatile flavours in raw egg yolk of hens fed on different diets. J Sci Food Agric. (2011)
  11. ^ a b White HB 3rd. Vitamin-binding proteins in the nutrition of the avian embryo. J Exp Zool Suppl. (1987)
  12. ^ Rychlik M. Pantothenic acid quantification by a stable isotope dilution assay based on liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Analyst. (2003)
  13. ^ Kim HK, Lee S, Leem KH. Protective effect of egg yolk peptide on bone metabolism. Menopause. (2011)
  14. ^ a b c Mann K, Mann M. In-depth analysis of the chicken egg white proteome using an LTQ Orbitrap Velos. Proteome Sci. (2011)
  15. ^ Yoon J, et al. Antimicrobial activity of the cell organelles, lysosomes isolated from egg white. J Microbiol Biotechnol. (2009)
  16. ^ White HB 3rd, et al. Biotin-binding protein from chicken egg yolk. Assay and relationship to egg-white avidin. Biochem J. (1976)
  17. ^ Cordeiro CM, Hincke MT. Recent patents on eggshell: shell and membrane applications. Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric. (2011)
  18. ^ Mann K, Macek B, Olsen JV. Proteomic analysis of the acid-soluble organic matrix of the chicken calcified eggshell layer. Proteomics. (2006)
  19. ^ Determination of insoluble avian eggshell matrix proteins.
  20. ^ Nakano T, Ikawa NI, Ozimek L. Chemical composition of chicken eggshell and shell membranes. Poult Sci. (2003)
  21. ^ Ha YW, et al. Relationship between eggshell strength and keratan sulfate of eggshell membranes. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. (2007)