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There is no doubt that the sport of bodybuilding owes a huge debt of gratitude to the humble chicken. Raw eggs were the original protein supplement, and egg protein, as a versatile alternative to meat, has never fallen out of favour with people trying to build muscle mass.

While milk proteins are arguably the gold standard for protein powders, a lot of manufacturers include egg white in their blended supplements because it sits between rapidly absorbed whey and slow-release casein in terms of digestion time, ensuring the consistent release of amino acids that is seen in quality products like MusclePharm Combat, and BSN True Mass.

Researchers in Japan may have discovered exciting new properties for this familiar and versatile protein through some recent studies performed on rats. The scientists took normal and diabetic animals and fed them on diets in which the protein content was made up of either casein, or egg white hydrolysate.

Scientists were excited to find that after six weeks of feeding, the diabetic animals fed on egg white protein showed improved glucose metabolism and lower levels of triglyceride (a "bad fat") within their muscles. This represents a reversal of diabetic symptoms. This is great news because scientists now have another exciting new avenue to look down in the search for a cure for diabetes.

This isn't just good news for diabetic people. High triglycerides are implicated in cardiovascular disease and overall health is improved with lower triglycerides, and control of glucose in the bloodstream is closely tied to anabolism. While more research is needed to see if egg protein can produce similar effects in humans, it is exciting that the team may have found another health benefit for a well known, versatile protein. In the meantime, don't be chicken to eat up!

Ochiai M, Kuroda T, Matsuo T. Increased muscular triglyceride content and hyperglycemia in Goto-Kakizaki rat are decreased by egg white hydrolysate. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Jan 28.

, and egg protein, as a versatile alternative to meat, has never fallen out of favour with people trying to build muscle mass.
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