The Impact of Whole Egg Consumption on Bone Accrual in Healthy Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dietary interventions designed to examine the role of nutrition on childhood bone accrual have often focused on the role of individual micronutrients (eg, calcium, vitamin D, and zinc) and macronutrients (eg, protein). The osteogenic benefits of whole foods, such as eggs, are not well understood despite eggs being a source of high-quality nutrients and bioactive compounds known to positively influence bone. A significant positive cross-sectional association between whole egg consumption and tibia cortical bone mass has recently been shown in young children; however, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have not been conducted. This study is a double-blind RCT in male and female children ages 9-13years of different ancestries, designed to determine if consuming food products with whole eggs (equivalent to 8-10 eggs/wk) versus foods with milk or gelatin (placebo) over a 9-month period will improve measures of bone strength. Total body less head (TBLH) and lumbar spine bone mineral content (BMC) and areal bone mineral density (aBMD) were assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). DXA Z-scores were computed using published pediatric growth charts and were adjusted for height-for-age Z-score (HAZ). Mid-tibia cortical volumetric BMD, BMC, cortical area, total bone area, cortical thickness, and strength strain index were measured using peripheral quantitative computed tomography. Overall, there were no significant intervention effects for any bone outcomes. The increase in spine BMCHAZ Z-score in the egg group versus the gelatin group approached significance (p=0.07). Significant time effects in TBLH aBMDHAZ Z-score occurred as all groups decreased over 9 months (p<0.03). Most tibia cortical bone outcomes increased over time (all p<0.02), but changes did not differ across intervention groups. Whole eggs provide important nutritional benefits for children, but the bone responses to consumption of 8-10 eggs/wk over a period of 9 months in children entering the early stages of puberty were small. 2023 The Authors. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).

published proceedings

  • J Bone Miner Res

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Coheley, L. M., Yu, M., Chen, X., O'Connor, P. J., Kealey, K. S., Laing, E. M., ... Lewis, R. D.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Coheley, Lauren M||Yu, Mengyun||Chen, Xianyan||O'Connor, Patrick J||Kealey, Kirk S||Laing, Emma M||Oshri, Assaf||Marand, Alicia K||Lance, Julia M||Kindler, Joseph M||Lewis, Richard D

publication date

  • November 2023