Eggs (2006) for Elder Eyes | Macular Degeneration

In a 2006 study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, 33 people age 60 or older were divided into two groups. During the first five weeks, one group ate one egg per day while the other group ate no eggs; both groups stopped eating eggs for a period of time and then the groups were reversed for another five weeks.

In the egg-eating groups, blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin rose 26% in the first phase of the study and 38% in the second phase. Neither group experienced any significant change in their cholesterol levels.

One regular egg per day, despite having relatively little lutein and zeaxanthin, was enough to raise these antioxidant levels in seniors without raising their cholesterol levels. This finding suggests that eggs - and possibly eggs from chickens that eat grass and other fresh vegetation in particular ("grass-fed") - could be a part of a healthy diet for older people trying to prevent macular degeneration.

(J Nutr 2006;136:2519-24)