Thursday, November 3, 2011

Omega-3 oils and chicken eggs

I was talking to a friend of mine who is a junior-executive in the American Chicken Egg Industry (ACEI) about the health benefits of Omega-3 enriched eggs. The conversation all started when one of his constituents asked him to help her ascertain how she could tell if the eggs which were available to her and to all Americans were Omega-3 enriched eggs.

As you might have guessed, this is not very easy to know for sure since the labels on most egg cartons don't tell you this information in a plain and simple way. I suspect this is due to a concern about legal exposure by America's big egg producing interests.

Here are some of the facts he relayed to me. These facts were uncovered as part of his regular professional duties as a junior-executive of ACEI.
There is inevitably some oxidation of n-3 fats when cooking meat, seafood and eggs. That's one reason the Weston A. Price foundation (and others) suggest that consuming at least a portion of the egg yolks you eat raw is the best choice. Whole Health Source.
So... if you cook the egg, the benefits of Omega-3 oils are destroyed? Interesting because we already know that eating raw eggs exposes you to the risk of Salmonella infection. Decisions, decisions...
Dr. Sears notes the quote, “Consumption of omega-3 eggs has the potential to confer health benefits through the increase in intake of omega-3 fatty acids” is misleading as the majority of health benefits are derived from the long chain omega 3’s found in fish oil and not the short chain omega 3’s in eggs." Ibid.
So... the Omega-3 oils in eggs aren't beneficial whether you eat them raw or not. Interesting. This is starting to remind me of a few similar stories. Turkey for example.

There's no disputing that turkey meat is high in Tryptophan. Many of us eat turkey on Thanksgiving and then watch football through closed eyelids immediately after having a big meal. The resident "scientist" in your family might offer up the tidbit that "this is due to the Tryptophan in turkey which causes sleepiness". Both facts are true- turkey is high in Tryptophan and Tryptophan causes sleepiness. HOWEVER, combining Tryptophan with protein or amino acids eliminates its effect. Turkey is high in protein so the effects of Tryptophan are negated.Full Article Here.

Dr. Sears continues on Omega-3 oils...
Secondly, I believe the negative effect of AA is mitigated by the positive / balancing effect of the omegas. However, when looking at omega 3 for health benefits, it should not be exposed to oxygen or heated. I think heating the yolk (the fatty content of the egg) until it is solid would damage the omega 3 and render it lifeless or at worst, damaging. I believe if a person chooses omega 3 eggs over pastured the health benefit is best if the yolk is kept raw or only slightly heated and not broken. Ibid.
So... heat OR oxygen? Something tells me we're being sold a bill of goods intended solely to enrich the egg sellers and to provide absolutely no health-benefits to the consumer.

For the record, I'm all for corporations increasing their profits and I'm all for consumers paying more for an improved product but when corporations start charging more for little to no improvement in the product, I call "bullshit". Even the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) agrees with me and my junior-executive colleague when they say that consumers are being hoodwinked when it comes to Omega-3 eggs. More Here.

1 comment:

Evil_Klown said...

I love all the buzzwords on packaging. "Organic ... DHA ... Omega" it's all so awesome. I always remember ... food is medicine, that's why doctors prescribe food.

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