T Nation

Omega 3 Eggs -- Bogus?

Was doing some other research and came across this. It’s over a year old. (Search didn’t turn it up at T-Nation). I know these get recommended often in T-Nation and other nutrition articles.

Egg Producers Deceive Consumers, Violate Law with Bogus Omega-3 Claims

FDA should enforce its own rules, according to CSPI

WASHINGTON?Consumers who shell out more money for eggs boasting of omega-3 content and promoting heart health should know that those claims are not all they?re cracked up to be, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

Today CSPI urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop seven egg producers from implying that their eggs can reduce the risk of heart disease. In fact, says CSPI, egg producers should not be making heart-healthy claims, because the FDA specifically prohibits such claims on eggs and other foods high in cholesterol or saturated fat.

?Egg producers have used the omega-3 buzz word to bilk health-conscious consumers?and so far they?ve gotten away with it,? said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. ?The FDA should start enforcing its own rules, instead of letting companies hoodwink shoppers with a myriad of misleading and downright inaccurate claims on labels, ads, and Web sites.?

Egg producers take advantage of consumers? limited knowledge of the different types of omega-3s. While the FDA permits claims for a possible reduced risk of heart disease linked to two kinds of omega-3s, DHA and EPA, the agency does not allow such claims for other omega-3s. CSPI commissioned a lab test that found that less than half of the advertised 350 mg of omega-3s in a Land O Lakes egg came from EPA and DHA. Yet, omega-3 eggs generally cost twice as much as regular eggs.

?The most beneficial omega-3 fatty acids come from fish, fish oil, and algae,? said CSPI senior staff attorney Ilene Heller. ?Even if eggs had the ?right? kind of omega-3s, they still contain significant levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, which increase the risk of heart disease.?

Even the eggs with the most DHA and EPA contain no more of those omega-3s than the amount in one and a half teaspoons of salmon, the richest source of omega-3s, according to CSPI.

Products named in the CSPI complaint include:

? Land O Lakes claims that ?omega-3 All-Natural Eggs? are a ?good source of heart-healthy nutrition? despite the fact that FDA has not defined the term ?good source? for omega-3s and that the eggs contain too much saturated fat and cholesterol to meet FDA?s definition of healthy.

? Eggland?s Best uses unapproved nutrient content claims for omega-3s on its carton and on its Web site. In addition, the company claims that its eggs have 25 percent less saturated fat than regular eggs. But that difference is less than half a gram?an amount that the FDA considers trivial for purposes of nutrition labeling.

? Safeway Specialty 3 Eggs misleadingly boasts ?100 mg of omega-3s? even though the FDA has not set standards for such omega-3 claims. In addition, the principal source of omega-3s in the hens? diets is likely not a source that may be associated with heart benefits.

? Gold Circle Farms claims that its eggs contain ?450 mg of omega-3s.? The claims are based on two eggs even though the official FDA serving size for eggs is one egg.

? The Country Hen illegally claims ?the difference is an egg that is simply healthy? even though the product does not meet regulatory requirements for ?healthy,? and also makes its claims based on two eggs.

? Full Spectrum Farms boasts that its product has ?30 mg? of unspecified omega-3s even though one ordinary egg, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, contains 37 mg of omega-3s, 20 mg of which are DHA and EPA.

? Giving Nature asserts that the company feeds its hens flax seed which ?has been known to hold high levels of DHA omega-3.? But, according to the Flax Council of Canada and others, the omega-3s that FDA considers healthful (DHA and EPA) are not found in plants such as flax seed.

Dammit. Someone summarize and make a decision for me.

I’ve long thought that the Omega 3 eggs were more hype than anything. Of course, it’s laughable any time the FDA has something to say about what’s “healthy.”

FUD, Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

Consider this: “Safeway Specialty 3 Eggs misleadingly boasts ‘100 mg of omega-3s’ even though the FDA has not set standards for such omega-3 claims.”

This is probably the most absurd statement in the article. The claim of 100mg is a quantifiable value with nothing additional implied, so no standards are necessary; it either has 100mg or it doesn’t.

if you look into the history of the CSPI, you’ll probably find that it has very little to do with “Public Interest”.

Of course, the omega-3 eggs might still be bogus. I’m sure they stretch the truth almost as much as any other food product.

So basically you don’t want to rely on eggs as a primary source of omega-3. I ate 4 eggs this morning and according to the nutritional information I only got 2g of EFAs. Fish oil capsules can give you more than 5g per serving instead.

[quote]msd0060 wrote:
Dammit. Someone summarize and make a decision for me.[/quote]

Don’t waste your money until this is all ironed out. Get your omega-3s from fish, fish oil and some flax. That was my decision anyway. Like ab-power said, you get more from the fish oil anyway.

  1. The Omega-3 eggs I’ve seen also have a higher ratio of protein to fat, and it’s possible that the chickens being fed a better diet may have other benefits.

  2. The CSPI is not an organization to listen to when it comes to health.

  3. Their argument that eggs are bad for the heart and therefore claims of improved heart health should not be allowed are based on ignorance (in thinking that eggs are bad for the heart in the first place.)

This is like listening to PETA as to whether one should eat meat or not.

Now as to whether Omega-3 eggs are an economical way to get omega-3 fatty acids, that is a different question, but also none of their business and personally not why I buy these eggs.

They are like 10p more for 6 eggs than normal eggs if they have even 1 more g then ill buy em lol

Well there aren’t any adverse effects. At Costco, Omega 3 eggs don’t even cost that much more than the regular counterparts. So what if they cost like $2 more? Oh well that’s a few less candy bars that I shouldn’t eat anyways.

It’s like even if they aren’t that much better for ya, they ain’t bad for ya. I need to eat eggs anyways so even if there is a bit of benefit, it’s worth it to me. The way i see it, it is win win.

I sure don’t pay anything like $2 more per dozen, seeing as I pay $2.49 per dozen period and I’m sure the regular eggs are nothing like 49 cents per dozen.

It’s possible that the eggs you’re paying this much for are not only omega-3 but perhaps organic and/or cage-free as well.

it’s more like $2 more for 18 eggs at costco so the difference is close to negligible. I’m probably paying more for the fancier packaging as these omega 3 eggs come in see through plastic cartons so you can view any breaks without examining each egg as in the regular cardboard they usually come in.

(In Hong Kong they sell eggs in the market on the street individually lol)

Ok fine i understand some people are on a tighter budget, but if your budget is so tight that even $2 is an issue, then just buy regular eggs. Simple.

The reason I buy is Omega 3 eggs is because their yolks have a much darker yellow. The yolks in regular eggs are barely even yellow. There is obviously a difference between the eggs.

Bullshit.
Insulin level is the trigger of cholesterol production by stimulating HMG-CoA reductase.
Low fat and high carb diets actually raise insulin levels.

When will this fucking myth about saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for you end? That dogma is getting old!

Doncha know, increasing dietary intake of the sterol compound “cholesterol” must cause increase in blood levels of the lipoprotein compound LDL, because doctors carelessly call the latter “cholesterol”?

Who needs a study showing either that increase in cholesterol intake, alone (no other changes) yields worsened blood lipid profiles, or that egg consumption yields it?

Why pay attention to studies showing the opposite?

It’s OBVIOUS that eggs MUST worsen LDL, aka “cholesterol”! Therefore keep claiming it for decades, no proof needed! We are MD’s and nutrition specialists after all!

You should also know that study on eggs being bad for you was done by the CEREAL board.

God knows eating healthy eggs is TERRIBLE much better to eat “healthy” cereal lol

What? You mean the Master Key to Health is not Honey Nuts Cheerios???

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
What? You mean the Master Key to Health is not Honey Nuts Cheerios???[/quote]

No it is Frosted Flakes lol coz you know , they’re GRRRRRRReat!

[quote]Thomas Gabriel wrote:
The reason I buy is Omega 3 eggs is because their yolks have a much darker yellow. The yolks in regular eggs are barely even yellow. There is obviously a difference between the eggs. [/quote]

QFT

The other things is the shells are thicker and stronger. I know that doesn’t mean anything about the content, but I imagine that means healthier chickens/eggs.

The big problem with the Omega-3 eggs is the price. For the extra cost I don’t get nearly as much Omega-3 as I do from buying fish oil. If I’m going to spend that much on eggs I might as well pay $.50 more to get free-range eggs direct from the farmers.

[quote]yorik wrote:

Consider this: “Safeway Specialty 3 Eggs misleadingly boasts ‘100 mg of omega-3s’ even though the FDA has not set standards for such omega-3 claims.”

This is probably the most absurd statement in the article. The claim of 100mg is a quantifiable value with nothing additional implied, so no standards are necessary; it either has 100mg or it doesn’t.

[/quote]

Agreed. I read that over about 4 times because I couldn’t believe that was actually written.

I also chuckled at the statement about the chicken’s diet not being high in EPA and DHA, so how could the eggs possibly contain EPA and DHA?!?!?!!