August 04, 2011
Low Omega 6 Eggs Do Not Cause LDL Oxidation
Hens fed a diet low in omega-6 fatty acids and high in antioxidants produced eggs which are better for your arteries.
Dr. Niva Shapira of Tel Aviv University's School of Health Professions says that all eggs are not created equal. Her research indicates that when hens are fed with a diet low in omega-6 fatty acids from a young age — feed high in wheat, barley, and milo and lower in soy, maize and sunflower, safflower, and maize oils — they produce eggs that may cause less oxidative damage to human health. That's a major part of what determines the physiological impact of the end product on your table.
Eggs made from the conventional cheaper chicken diet produced worse effects on the blood of human study participants.
There were vast differences in outcome among the treatments. Daily consumption of two industry-standard eggs, high in omega-6, caused a 40 percent increase in LDL oxidizability in participants. After eating two per day of the specially-composed eggs, with both high anti-oxidant and low omega-6 levels, however, LDL oxidation levels were similar to the control group eating only two to four eggs a week.
An egg industry that produced healthier eggs would have to charge more for them. But some people who refrain from eggs due to health reasons could more safely choose to eat many more of them.
Surprisingly, with the "healthier" eggs, we might be able to eat more than twice today's generally recommended egg intake and still maintain a healthy level of LDL oxidation, Dr. Shapira concludes.
What's needed: a standard that would allow people to buy eggs certified to have dramatically better effects on the cardiovascular system.
I eat LOTS of eggs, 2-3 a day, and my LDL and HDLs, and cholesterol are perfect. AFAIK My eggs are fed the normal chicken diet.
I eat low carb and low omega 6 and take omega 3 fish oil.
I do not know my number for LDL oxidation, is this test in a blood lipid panel or something special? anyone know?
Anecdotal accounts are worthless. Each of us has a slightly different metabolism and reacts slightly differently with our environment.
The old advice is best: Choose your parents carefully.
you can get the same effect by eating free-range eggs (and now that you've gotten a chuckle out of that mental picture: i meant eggs from hens raised free to range). Find them at your farmers market or, in many areas, from a neighbor. Buyer beware: store eggs labeled "free-range" just means that the hens are allowed out of their cages and onto mother earth part of each day. It may be barren ground and 100% commercial feed. Because of predator issues it is very difficult to raise true free-range chickens in large quantities. Or you can, even in most cities, keep 3-5 hens in your backyard (again, you must take measures to protect them from local predators such as cats, dogs and coons).
"Free-range" doesn't mean squat. It depends on what the chickens have to eat. If they eat, primarily grains, they will have the fat ratios.
In theory, hens let loose to grub for worms and maggots will produce superior eggs. I tend to agree with that because when I was a kid back in the 70s, some of the old timers still kept chickens the old way and the eggs and chicken meat were the best I've ever tasted.
However, raising enough chickens that way to practically feed an urban population is impossible. Such chickens and eggs will always be a luxury boutique product for anyone not on a farm.
Why can't urban populations raise their own chickens to get these superior eggs? That's what I do for my family and I sell a few. Granted, when population is so dense that the mass of people live in high rise apartments, this would be pretty tough. In a typical American city like mine, there is plenty of room for the population to grow enough such eggs. Even a small backyard, under proper bedding managment, could produce enough eggs for several families without offending the eye, ear or nose and would be far more sanitary than even the best factory farm.
"Why can't urban populations raise their own chickens to get these superior eggs?"
I can't speak for all urban areas, but at least in the suburban neighborhood where I currently reside, and 2 prior to this one, there have been strict covenants that prevent that. No livestock, and they specifically spell it out -- no chickens.
That's a good point, some things have to change. What a lot of people don't realize is that chickens have far less potential to be a nuisance than the average dog if they are properly managed with deep bedding. Unfortunatley many people of a couple generations ago used bare ground that smelled to high heaven and leeched into surrounding areas. There is a noteworthy movement in the US to remove restrictions on chickens. As it happens, I am not supposed to have chickens in my back yard, but I share my eggs with the neighbors and told them if the chickens ever bothered them I would get rid of them. They all think it's great and we haven't had any problems.