T Nation

Omega 3 Eggs Bad Because of Feed?

Has any one else ever heard that it is best not to get O-3 eggs b/c the flax that they feed the chickens is usually rancid and doesn’t supply the chickens with healthy O-3’s?

I have heard it is better to get free range eggs.

Any insight on this?

Get organic, free-range, Omega 3 eggs just to be sure.

Here’s one opinion:

^^ That link didn’t really dispute the quality of Omega 3 eggs. Sure, it mentioned the price, but it seemed to say the cholesterol was the culprit, which most of us believe dietary cholesterol has very little impact on blood cholesterol.

“Research shows that omega-3s found only in fish and some plants are “good” fatty acids, and help prevent heart disease. But the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says consumers are being hoodwinked when it comes to omega-3 eggs”

To me that says, “don’t bother - stick with the regular eggs regardless of what the chickens are fed in terms of O3 production”.

“If you have no choice but to buy your eggs at the grocery store, look for free-range organic. Avoid all omega-3 eggs, as they typically come from hens fed poor quality omega-3 fat sources that are already oxidized.”

I don’t know the validity of the science behind this comment, whether strong or not, but at least it makes more clear what the issue is.

I got it from a [cringe] Mercola article…

[quote]Raw, Organic Eggs

Eggs are another super food. Research has ended the debate – there is no link between egg consumption and heart disease.[1]

A single egg contains:

Nine essential amino acids.

Six grams of the highest quality protein you can put in your body. Proteins are nutrients that are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of your body tissues such as your skin, internal organs and muscles. They are also the major components of your immune system and hormones.

Lutein and zeaxanthin (for your eyes).

Choline for your brain, nervous- and cardiovascular systems.

Naturally occurring vitamin D.

However, it’s critical to understand that not all eggs are created equal. There is a major nutritional difference between TRUE free-range chicken eggs and commercially farmed eggs.

The USDA defines “free-range” chickens as those with access to the outside. “Outside,” however, can be a field or a cement courtyard and has nothing to do with what the chickens eat. Commercially farmed hens are fed corn, soy and cottonseed. True free-range chickens eat a natural, nutrient-dense diet of seeds, green plants, insects and worms.

I recommend you try to get your eggs locally. To find free-range pasture farmers in your area, ask at your health food store or visit eatwild.com or localharvest.org.

If you have no choice but to buy your eggs at the grocery store, look for free-range organic. Avoid all omega-3 eggs, as they typically come from hens fed poor quality omega-3 fat sources that are already oxidized.

Eat your eggs raw whenever possible. Allergic reactions to eggs are generally caused by the changes that take place in the cooking process. Eating eggs raw also helps preserve many of the highly perishable nutrients they contain.

Avoiding raw egg yolks is conventional nutritional dogma, as raw egg whites contain a glycoprotein called avidin that is very effective at binding biotin, one of the B vitamins. The concern is that this can lead to a biotin deficiency.

The simple solution is to cook the egg whites, as this completely deactivates the avidin. The problem is that this also impairs the structure of nearly every other protein in the egg. While you will still obtain nutritional benefits from consuming cooked eggs, from a nutritional perspective it would seem far better to consume them uncooked.

What is important to realize is that there is plenty of biotin in the egg yolk. Egg yolks have one of the highest concentrations of biotin found in nature. So it is likely that you will not have a biotin deficiency if you consume the whole raw egg, yolk and white.

It is also clear, however, that if you only consume raw egg whites, you are nearly guaranteed to develop a biotin deficiency unless you take a biotin supplement.

So to be clear, my advice is that you can safely eat WHOLE raw eggs, from a healthy fresh source. I eat four whole raw eggs each morning with my breakfast. I would strongly advise against eating raw egg whites alone. They simply need to be consumed with the yolks.[/quote]

[i]"…However, it’s critical to understand that not all eggs are created equal. There is a major nutritional difference between TRUE free-range chicken eggs and commercially farmed eggs."

"…To find free-range pasture farmers in your area, ask at your health food store or visit eatwild.com or localharvest.org. "

“…If you have no choice but to buy your eggs at the grocery store, look for free-range organic. Avoid all omega-3 eggs, as they typically come from hens fed poor quality omega-3 fat sources that are already oxidized.”

“…Eat your eggs raw whenever possible.”

“…cook the egg whites, as this completely deactivates the avidin (and or eat the yolks - to avoid biotin deficiency)”

I don’t know how valid Mercola’s statements are, but they do seem to make since.

There are probably some farmers out there that try to give the chickens quality flaxseed, but I bet there are more out there that give them rancid flax and then sell them as Omega-3 eggs.

Thanks for the heads up on the true free range eggs Bulletproof.

What do you guys think about eating raw eggs? Anybody been doing it for a while w/o getting sick?

Anybody get sick from eating them raw?

I have a question about eggs and polyunsaturated fats.

If the egg is cooked in a pan on the stove, and DHA is supposedly oxidized quickly in air when heated, then how relevant is this scenario to eating eggs and expecting a quality omega 3 intake- especially in context with what is discussed here?

There is scattered stability data available for various DHA-mixtures people have tested and some mixtures stabilize it quite well, but the addition of pan heat complicates things greatly and my guess is that it would end up doing some damage.

So the end content of a cooked egg might not be so good no matter what although I cannot provide any good information for either side.

[quote]Rusty Barbell wrote:
I have a question about eggs and polyunsaturated fats.

If the egg is cooked in a pan on the stove, and DHA is supposedly oxidized quickly in air when heated, then how relevant is this scenario to eating eggs and expecting a quality omega 3 intake- especially in context with what is discussed here?

There is scattered stability data available for various DHA-mixtures people have tested and some mixtures stabilize it quite well, but the addition of pan heat complicates things greatly and my guess is that it would end up doing some damage.

So the end content of a cooked egg might not be so good no matter what although I cannot provide any good information for either side. [/quote]

In this regard, if it is any issue at all (although I’m not sure) raw yolks would be better and perhaps omelets would be worse since the yolks are fully exposed to air, but a sunnyside might be a little better. I guess I’ll start trying to buy free-range organic and start avoiding omega 3 eggs.

FWIW, in that article “Top 7 Foods That Slow Your Aging,” Mercola also had some good info about (and recommended):

  1. Whey protein (surprised to see that on his list, especially for this purpose – anti-aging, although he did recommend the whey to be from carefully processed milk from grass fed organic cows; I assume he means cross flow microfiltration)… I might give whey a try again in the future because of this.
  2. Raw, Organic Eggs. I’ll look to try this
  3. Leafy greens. I already eat these on a regular basis
  4. Broccoli. Ditto
  5. Blueberries. Regular basis + in superfood
  6. Chlorella. I might give this a shot
  7. Garlic (Fresh and raw). I might give this a shot, but garlic does weird things to me, especially raw stuff.

In all a pretty good list, and while some of Mercola’s stuff seems whacky, these foods seem pretty good.

This is disappointing…but thanks for the information. I was really sold on the omega three eggs, as that is what I buy. Nothing beats the way god intended food to be. That is a fact. I will have to try the raw eggs. I used to but got talked out of it because of salmonella poisoning talk…any one have thoughts on that?

Well you can always go by what egg type gives you less gas for one thing.

I always felt like cheap eggs = worse in this department. Maybe I didn’t do enough controlled testing though.

Also what about brown versus white eggs? Are some omega 3 eggs white? I usually get the brown (omega 3) eggs.

As long as I cook the yolks thoroughly, I can put down 4-5 of them without much GI issue.

I also wonder about how a hen uses its feed to supply/fill the eggs with nutrients.

Is there any selection between components of the feed from the hen’s stomach/GI tract to the developing egg? That is, could the hen’s digestive system (or blood or “egg development” components) act as selective filters to prevent oxidized polyunsaturated fats from making their way into the eggs?

You would think given the importance of reproduction in nature that at least some of the bad fats would be separated from the good prior to entering the developing eggs. Maybe not, but it would not surprise me to see that they shit out a lot of the bad fat and make the most of what good is there. So having bad feed is not the greatest supply source for eggs, but not like some kind of death trap either.

Or alternatively are they just too much of an “egg producing” machine to have this much complexity in their systems?

Where is the farmer scientist when you need one?!?

And is there even any data for any of the stuff originally posted? I’ve got too much to do now to start looking but my guess is something like a US Dairy Farmers website would be a good place to go.

as with all foods, the source matters.

and especially since eggs are inexpensive, i’ll pay a little more for “certified humane” in hopes of getting a healthier food (every post like this get’s a lot of counter argument because this stuff is not defined well (our food supply is a bit whacked) so you have to look into the specific farm to evaluate their practices.

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/confinement_farm/facts/guide_egg_labels.html