Considering the benefits of egg consumption for older people at risk of sarcopenia

Picture of  eggs

It has been suggested that a reduction in the amount of proteins in the diet among older people may contribute to sarcopenia (e.g. to the loss of muscle and strength with aging). Increasing the quantity of proteins during meals could be a helpful strategy in both the prevention of sarcopenia in people approaching older age and the treatment of sarcopenia in frail older people.

Here the benefits of egg consumption are reported:

·      Eggs are rich of protein and are familiar particularly during breakfast for many older people. Ease of cooking is particularly important for those with limited ability to stand to cook, or with limited cooking skills. Moreover, for people with chewing or swallowing problems, meat is more problematic to eat than eggs.

·      In particular, eggs are an excellent source of leucine (a muscle component that our body is not able to produce but that you can only assume with foods containing proteins), of vitamin D (essential for your bone health), of omega-3 fatty acids and of selenium (which protects you from sarcopenia onset).

·      Some older people have the impression that they must limit eggs intake because of the high content of cholesterol.  Recent studies suggest that eating two eggs per day did not modify blood cholesterol levels, even in people with high blood lipids level (hyperlipidaemia). Eggs can be safely consumed by the general population, even by those with established cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The only situation where egg intake should be limited (3-4 eggs per week) is for those who have familial hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol level due to genetic factors).

LINK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE : Smith A. and Gray J. “Considering the benefits of egg consumption for older people at risk of sarcopenia”. Br J Community Nurs. 2016;21(6):305-9.