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Egg Helps Infants Grow More Quickly, Reduce the Risk of Childhood Stunting

By KM Diaz, | June 09, 2017

A new study suggests that babies as young as six months grow more quickly when given one egg per day. (YouTube)

A new study suggests that babies as young as six months grow more quickly when given one egg per day. (YouTube)

A new study suggests that babies as young as six months grow more quickly when given one egg per day. The risk of stunting will be reduced, a serious growth problem that affects approximately 162 million children worldwide under the age of 5.

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In the study published in the journal Pediatrics on June 7, about 84 infants were not given eggs to serve as a control group, while 80 infants between six and nine months of age for one year received eggs from researchers. The result shows that infants who were given eggs decreased the risk of stunting by 47 percent compared to the control group.

Egg is sometimes called as "complete food" because it contains necessary components in development and proper growth such as amino acids, choline, several growth factors, as well as DHA. Now, the research further shows the benefits of eating eggs, particularly for babies.

According to Lora Iannotti, a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis and the first author of the study, it is not yet clear whether which of these nutrients could be the most important, but their initial finding suggests that choline has an important role in growth development.

In the past, some people are worried that giving eggs to babies could lead to elevated cholesterol levels or allergic reactions. However, the research has not shown any of these effects, the food seems to be healthy and safe for infants, Iannotti noted.

Stunting, on the other hand, is one of the neglected problems in developing countries. In the Ecuadorian highlands - where the research was conducted - about 42 percent of infants are stunted, and as a whole nation, one-quarter of infants are stunted.

Iannotti suggests that egg should be increasingly given to infants to help them in proper growth development. In addition, egg is healthy, affordable, and almost available in all developing countries.

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