Metabolic Profiling of High Egg Consumption and the Associated Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Middle-Aged Finnish Men

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019 Mar;63(5):e1800605. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201800605. Epub 2018 Dec 18.


Scope: Higher egg intake was previously associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) in the prospective, population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) in eastern Finland. Potential compounds that can explain this association are explored using nontargeted LC-MS-based metabolic profiling.

Methods and results: Two hundred and thirty-nine baseline serum samples from the KIHD are analyzed in four groups: subjects with higher (mean intake one egg per day) or lower (mean intake two eggs per week) egg intake who developed T2D (cases) or remained heatlhy (controls) during the mean follow-up of 19.3 years. Different serum profiles of subjects who had either higher or lower egg intakes, and of those who developed type 2 diabetes or remained healthy, are observed. The higher baseline tyrosine level predicts higher odds of T2D (OR 1.94; 95% CI 1.45, 2.60; p < 0.001; FDR 0.023) along with an unknown hexose-containing compound (OR 2.13; 95% CI 1.57, 2.88; p < 0.001; FDR 0.005). Certain predominant metabolites in T2D cases are correlated positively with ones in the lower-egg-intake group and negatively with ones in the higher-egg-intake group.

Conclusion: Our current findings may underline some potential metabolites that can explain how egg intake is associated with a lower risk of T2D.

Keywords: eggs; liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; metabolomics; serum; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Eggs*
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers