The biochemical profile of chicken egg yolks | Sunday Observer

The biochemical profile of chicken egg yolks

30 July, 2023

The biochemical profile of chicken egg yolk is an interesting subject that sheds light on the nutritional content and potential health benefits of this common food item.

Egg yolks are rich in various macronutrients, micronutrients, and bioactive compounds, all of which contribute to their unique biochemical profile. One of the primary macronutrients found in egg yolks is lipids, which account for a significant portion of their weight.

Essential amino acids

Egg yolks are a major source of dietary fat, containing various types of fatty acids, including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. However, the overall lipid composition of egg yolks is largely influenced by the hen’s diet. For example, feeding hens with omega-3 rich diets can increase the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in egg yolks, providing potential health benefits such as reducing inflammation and improving heart health.

Protein is another essential macronutrient found in egg yolks. Egg yolks contain all the essential amino acids required by the human body, making them a complete protein source. They also contain several bioactive proteins, including vitellogenin, which is involved in embryonic development, and lysozyme, which exhibits antimicrobial properties.

These proteins can contribute to the overall nutritional value and potential health benefits of egg yolks. In addition to macronutrients, egg yolks are a rich source of various micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, and all the B-vitamins (except vitamin B12) can be found in significant amounts in egg yolks.

These vitamins play essential roles in numerous biological processes, including vision, immunity, energy metabolism, and cell function. Egg yolks are also a good source of several minerals, such as iron, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus, which are necessary for proper growth, development, and overall health.

Bioactive compounds

Moreover, egg yolks contain several bioactive compounds that have shown to possess potential health benefits. Choline is one such compound that plays a vital role in the development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It is also involved in liver function, metabolism, and cell structure.

Egg yolks are one of the richest sources of choline. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids present in egg yolks that have been extensively studied for their antioxidant and eye health properties. These compounds are selectively taken up by the macula of the eye, where they may protect against age-related macular degeneration and other sight-related issues.

Lastly, egg yolks contain various antioxidants, such as selenium, vitamin E, and carotenoids, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases. In summary, the biochemical profile of chicken egg yolk reveals its richness in macronutrients, micronutrients, and bioactive compounds that collectively contribute to its nutritional value and potential health benefits.

Egg yolks are a significant source of lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, choline, carotenoids, and antioxidants. Incorporating egg yolks into a balanced diet can provide essential nutrients and promote overall well-being. However, it is important to consume them in moderation as part of a varied and balanced diet, considering individual dietary needs and preferences.