The British egg industry is set to be boosted by the publication of a new scientific article that praises eggs’ nutritional profile and recommends consumers should increase their egg consumption for health reasons.

The article - to be published in the December issue of the British Nutrition Foundation’s Nutrition Bulletin - describes eggs as a natural health food and diet aid.

It also contains the first full nutritional analysis of eggs since the 1980s, which suggests eggs’ nutritional profile has improved considerably over recent decades thanks to improved feeding practices, such as moving from meat and bone meals to soya-based feeds. Eggs today contain 20% less fat and sat fat, 13% fewer calories, 70% more vitamin D and twice the amount of selenium than when they were last analysed, according to the article.

In the past, nutrition experts considered eggs a possible cause of high cholesterol and recommended consumers limit their intake. Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said its publication of the new article marked a remarkable turnaround for eggs. “It is fantastic news that diet and health experts now fully recognise the important role eggs can play in a healthy diet, and that their consumption should be encouraged and not limited. Eggs are unique in terms of their health credentials and, as consumers become more and more aware of their benefits, we expect to see even greater consumption.”

A previous paper, ‘Eggs and dietary cholesterol - dispelling the myth’ , published in the March 2009 Nutrition Bulletin claimed that the misconceptions around eggs and cholesterol largely stemmed from incorrect conclusions drawn from early research. Health authorities subsequently revised their consumption advice.

The article in the forthcoming December Nutrition Bulletin is entitled ‘Eggs - establishing the nutritional benefits’, and its author is nutritionist Dr Juliet Gray, who also authored the March 2009 bulletin.