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Eggs offer many health benefits

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 by: Kelly Pepper, D.C.
Tags: eggs, health benefits, cholesterol

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(NaturalNews) Perhaps you've skipped this breakfast gem for fear of raising your cholesterol. Free yourself from that misconception and indulge in the treasure that a good ol' egg has to offer. Three eggs per day over a 12-week period for obese participants on a carbohydrate restricted diet actually lowered the bad LDL cholesterol and raised the good HDL(1). Another study showed that two eggs per day for six weeks did not affect cholesterol levels or brachial artery endothelial function (2). Yet another study demonstrated that people eating equal to or more than 4 eggs per week had lower cholesterol levels than those eating less than or one egg per week (3).

That aside, eggs are packed with vitamins A, D, E, B2, B6, B9, iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and choline (4). Now, when you think choline, think brains and babies. One egg supplies 20% of the daily recommended intake of choline, and it is used as a building block for phospholipids used in all cell membranes and is particularly integral in brain and nerve health. Share with all pregnant women you know that choline from eggs is essential for proper fetal brain development and decreased neural tube defects, and it is a necessary constituent in breast milk. In addition, choline proves important in: memory function, reducing breast cancer risk, and maintaining normal homocysteine levels. It also lowers: plasma C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor, and interleukin 6. In fact, in one study, lack of dietary choline resulted in fatty liver, muscle damage and some organ dysfunction (5).

Lutein and zeaxanthin are the carotenoids that imbue the bright sunshine to the yolk, so think eyes and a healthy macula when the rays beam your way. Lutein levels from eggs beat both cooked spinach and lutein supplements by three times in blood serum, and 12 weeks of eating eggs increased subjects' zeaxanthin serum levels and macular pigment (6,7).

Tryptophan and tyrosine are two amino acid egg antioxidants. Tryptophan, with a little help from a carbohydrate meal, crosses the blood brain barrier and is converted to serotonin. Serotonin, a potent mood enhancer (as many anti-depressants induce elevated levels of) can be then converted in the pineal gland to melatonin, which promotes sleepiness(8). Tyrosine is a precursor to epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine and thyroid hormones all modulating your go-go, good feelings, and alertness.

Now before you go out and buy out the market, keep in mind that pasture raised, free-grazing hens produce a superior quality egg and are less prone to salmonella contamination (9). Free hens lay eggs with 3 times more vitamin E, 7 times more beta-carotene, 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, and 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids (10).

A great bargain, eggs are easy on the wallet and packed with goodness. So, be brave, be an egghead, and see what these capsules of dense nutrition can do for you.

1.Mutungi G, Ratliff J, Puglisi M, et al. Dietary cholesterol from eggs increases plasma HDL cholesterol in overweight men consuming a carbohydrate-restricted diet. J Nutr 2008;138:272-6.
3.Song WO, Kerver JM. Nutritional contribution of eggs to American diets. J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19:556S-62S.
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_(food)
9. http://www.naturalchoices.co.uk/Salmonella-l...
10. http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/200...

About the author

Kelly Pepper, D.C., is a mother of five with a home birth on the way. An avid reader, eclectic cook, home manager, and untiring sleuth to natural living, she gathers her experience to share with children of all ages. She is currently working on a wellness book series for children ages 4-7. She and her husband own Affinity Health Professionals www.affinityhealthprofessionals.com.
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