New research confirms winning "eggs and C" combination
A new research study has confirmed that the amount of iron absorbed from eating eggs may be significantly increased by consuming food or drink containing vitamin C at the same meal.
So a glass of orange juice with a breakfast egg, or an omelette and salad, could be on the menu for the millions of people in the UK suffering from low iron levels.
Survey data also indicate that about a quarter of women have a low iron intake and that the diets of young women are particularly low in iron, with 50% of 15–18 year olds having intakes below the lower reference nutrient intake (LRNI), the amount considered as inadequate.
Eggs are a useful source of iron, with 1 mg per medium egg, and a two egg meal contributes between 14–23% of an adult’s daily iron requirement. However there has previously been uncertainty about the bioavailability – the degree to which a nutrient is available to the body – of the iron.
Meals were prepared and put through a process to simulate digestion in the gut, and iron uptake into the cells was measured. When mixed with orange juice or salad, iron uptake from eggs was significantly increased.
“These findings, if confirmed in vivo, show that the iron in eggs has a higher bioavailability when consumed with food rich in vitamin C,” commented Sue Fairweather-Tait, who coordinated the research at the University of East Anglia, undertaken by a Master’s student from the University of Sheffield.
“This is important information for the significant percentage of the UK population, in particular young women, suffering from iron deficiency."