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J Nutr. 2019 Oct 1;149(10):1766-1775. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz143.

Dietary Whole Egg Reduces Body Weight Gain in a Dose-Dependent Manner in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats.

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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.
Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.



We previously reported that a whole-egg-based diet attenuated weight gain in rats with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and more effectively maintained vitamin D status than an equivalent amount of supplemental cholecalciferol.


The objective of this study was to determine the lowest dose of whole egg effective at maintaining vitamin D homeostasis and attenuating the obese phenotype in T2D rats.


Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats (n = 40; age 6 wk; prediabetic) and their lean controls (n = 40; age 6 wk) were randomly assigned to a diet containing 20% casein (CAS) or 20%, 10%, 5%, or 2.5% protein from whole egg (20% EGG, 10% EGG, 5% EGG, and 2.5% EGG, respectively). All diets contained 20% total protein (wt:wt). All rats received their respective diets for 8 wk, at a stage of growth and development that translates to adolescence in humans, until 14 wk of age, a point at which ZDF rats exhibit overt T2D. Weight gain was measured 5 d/wk, and circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] was measured by ELISA. Mean values were compared by 2-factor ANOVA.


The 20% EGG diet maintained serum 25(OH)D at 30 nmol/L in ZDF rats, whereas the 10%, 5%, and 2.5% EGG diets did not prevent insufficiency, resulting in mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations of 24 nmol/L in ZDF rats. Body weight gain was reduced by 29% (P < 0.001) and 31% (P < 0.001) in ZDF rats consuming 20% and 10% EGG diets, respectively, and by 16% (P = 0.004) and 12% (P = 0.030) in ZDF rats consuming 5% and 2.5% EGG diets, respectively, compared with CAS.


Whole-egg-based diets exerted a dose-dependent response with respect to attenuating weight gain. These data could support dietary recommendations aimed at body weight management in individuals predisposed to obesity and T2D.


25-hydroxyvitamin D; Zucker diabetic fatty rat; type 2 diabetes; vitamin D; whole egg


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