T Nation

Raw Egg Controversy


I've read that a study by John Berardi found that eating raw eggs is not only somewhat dangerous but also ineffective since your body can only use about half of the protein in the egg. After reading through Arnold Schwarzenegger Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, the shakes that he suggests all contain raw eggs, in the further levels as many as raw eggs in a shake..

Whats up with that? Is there any secondary studies to John Berardi's results? Not that I am saying he is wrong or anything, but if eating raw eggs obviously worked so well for Arnold why is it that we are advised against it?


Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Arnold had Mycellar Casein.

And if you dig on eggs so much (I sure do - I like 'em poached), hell, have 'em with some bacon and a big 'ole shake in the AM if you want to get big.


(and as to why it's advised against, I think it has something to do with Salmonella)


Saying raw eggs worked for arnold is like saying the bench press created his chest, it was just one piece a very large puzzle, that when done right worked quite well.

Raw eggs can expose you to salmonella, though someone posted a stat that it's a low risk, why even do it in the first place when the benefits aren't that high.


The benefits aren't high at all. You get more protein availability by cooking the eggs.


Further info:

this site will give further info on the role of biotin, where it is found and how raw eggs could possibly even lead to a biotin deficiency (although that is rare). I will try to find more later.



Two substances in raw eggs have been shown to block nutrient availability.
Conalbumin is a protein that can bind together with iron and block its availability.
Avidin is a second egg protein that can bind together with biotin (a B-vitamin) and
make it unavailable.

The cooking of eggs helps denature both of these proteins, and can increase the
availability of both iron and biotin from eggs. Of course, another reason for
cooking eggs involves health safety. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention estimate that 1 of every 20,000 eggs may be contaminated with the
bacterium Salmonella, which is actually passed from the infected hen to the egg
before the shell is formed.

Avidin was irreversibly denatured at temperatures higher than 70 deg C (158 deg F), but that the complex was stable to 100 deg C (212 deg F).
ref: Pritchard, A. B., McCormick, D. B., and Wright, L. D. 1966. Optical rotatory dispersion studies of the heat denaturation of avidin and avidin-biotin complex. Biochem. Biophysc. Res. Commun. 25, 524-528.

Residual avidin activity in cooked egg white was demonstrated using an improved dye binding assay. Mean residual avidin activity in fried, poached and boiled (2 min) egg white was 33%, 71% and 40%, respectively, of the activity of raw egg white.
ref: Durance, T. D. 1991. Residual avidin activity in cooked egg white assayed with improved sensitivity. J. Food Sci. 56, 707-709, 729.

For ileostomy patients:
The true ileal digestibility of cooked and raw egg protein amounted to 90.9% plus or minus 0.8% and
51.3% plus or minus 9.8%, respectively. Five ileostomy patients were studied.
(An ileostomy involves bringing the ileum (the last portion of the small intestine) to
the abdominal surface. When waste matter reaches the ileum it is liquid, so an appliance
is needed to collect it.) These people do not digest the way normal people do.
Evenepoel, P., B. Geypens, A. Luypaerts, M. Hiele, Y. Ghoos, and P. Rutgeerts.
"Digestibility of cooked and raw egg protein, assessed by stable isotope techniques."
J. Nutr. 128: 1716-1722, 1998

For normal people:
5.73% and 35.10% (P < 0.005) of cooked and raw test meal, respectively, escaped
digestion and absorption in the small intestine.
Pieter Evenepoel, Dirk Claus, Benny Geypens, Martin Hiele, Karen Geboes, Paul Rutgeerts,
and Yvo Ghoos "Amount and fate of egg protein escaping assimilation in the small
intestine of humans" Am J Physiol. 1999 Nov;277(5 Pt 1):G935-43.


Mercola suggests cooking the eggs, but eating the yolks raw. That way the fats are not denatured from DHA/EPA form.


heh, so "over easy"?


Some Egg and Biotin info here.



I read about the biotin deficiency that is related with eating a large amount of raw eggs.. Wouldn't including raw and cooked eggs into your diet provide you with a solid variation of proteins? I've read that Salmonela isn't even that serious, and that a biotin deficiency will only occur if you eat a very high number of raw eggs (plus you can negate those effects by supplementing w/ it or eating foods rich in it)


Just do it - then tell everyone you know that you eat raw eggs -

It'll make you look badass, like Rocky.

For some reason, people are really impressed by people who eat raw eggs - one of life's mysteries I will never fully understand.



Heh, its nothing like that.. Its more of a convenience factor. Mixing them into a shake is a thousand times easier than cooking them up..


POWDER is even easier. You are avoiding cooking eggs because you just really want shakes? They sell powdered egg protein. Meanwhile, I will cook my eggs.


Raw eggs are bad. They are hard to eat on toast. Boiled or poached, thanks.


I know this much from experience. Eating raw eggs dropped in milk will put on some body mass. I turned into a fucking fat fuck when I was 15 because I would drop 3 raw eggs into a tall glass of milk, stir it up, and slam it before I went to my summer job. Now, I was busting my ass out in the sun doing some manual labor, put on some muscle, but a lot of flab. I'm sure that I would have slapped on some real muscle if I was lifting weights back then. But, I didn't and I got well over 230 lbs. doing that. Add a tiny bit of sugar and it doesn't taste too bad. Maybe throwing that into the G Flux theory could do something for you.


You blame this on three eggs and a glass of milk?


I used to drink like 5 or 6 raw eggs at a time, like Rocky, but then for no reason out of the blue(err...yellow?) just got disgusted and quit. And now with the research showing that it's better to cook them I feel silly. But now it's the 3 egg cheese omlet with oatmeal for me. I use different cheeses to keep boredom at bay and add a toast with spreaded strawberry preserves sometimes. I get way more eggs than meat as they cook in a flash and you don't have to worry about side dishes or whatever.

Noooooooo!!! Man, I never mixed it that makes it taste horrible. If you leave it intact then you can just hold your breath swallow the yolk and be done with it. But if you mix the yolk it's just too much, I had to watch a clip from Rambo to get past that one.


I was thinking the same. It's amazing how people narrow it down to minute things in the grand scheme of it all.


I am only impressed if you eat the shell as well. And swallow them whole. Then bring them up again. Then bring up a lightbulb, too (I've seen a guy do that, and he could also swallow a padlock, then a key, and unlock the padlock in his stomach).

Raw eggs used to be the big deal because there was not much alternative. What alternative was there? milk, dried milk, fish etc..

My father in law swears by raw eggs, he has one a day, he tells everyone to have one a day. He's 78 and strong as an ox. and still does heavy manual labour. His fridge has like 40 eggs in it at any one time. He won't eat any dried milk product because of all the bad ones. Anyway, he hasn't yet got sick from the eggs after decades of eating them raw.

Overcooked eggs get denatured real fast and form a kind of plastic. Don't overcook your eggs. Slight cooking will kill any potential nasties.

I cracked an egg once and it was full of blood, that kind of turned me off them. One had a chicken in it too, I know some countries love that. Not me.