Eggs that advertise their omega-3 content may be defrauding the public by claiming that they can reduce the risk of heart disease.
The FDA specifically prohibits such claims on foods such as eggs that are high in cholesterol.
While the FDA does permit claims for a possible reduced risk of heart disease related to the omega-3's DHA and EPA, less than half of the advertised omega-3 content in many eggs comes from EPA and DHA.The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) identified seven egg companies making deceptive claims, including Land O Lakes, Eggland's Best, Safeway Specialty 3 Eggs, Gold Circle Farms, The Country Hen, Full Spectrum Farms, and Giving Nature.
CSPI June 21, 2007
If you have been convinced of the importance of increasing your omega-3 intake based on the very compelling research, you may not be getting what you think you are when you purchase eggs boasting omega-3's for heart health.
At least that is what CSPI wants you to believe.
Unfortunately. although CSPI has done some good things in the past, they, like most conventional physicians, are seriously confused about the saturated fat and cholesterol issue.
If you have been reading this newsletter for awhile you will know that this concern is not justified and we all need some healthy saturated fat and cholesterol. Eggs happen to be a phenomenal source.
Eggs really are one of nature's most perfect foods -- when they're organic. Organic eggs come from chickens that have been fed only organic feed, without pesticides or GMO's in the grains. Just be careful, as eating eggs every day increases your chances for developing an allergy.
The real issue with omega-3 in eggs is that they typically are not high in DHA. You have to read the label VERY carefully. Most commonly the chickens are fed plant based omega-3 fats, like flax so they are high in ALA.
Nothing wrong with this, but the animal based omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA, are far more useful to you. Some farmers do actually feed their chickens fish sources of omega-3 and do have higher EPA and DHA levels. However, if they only use DHA from algae sources, this will not be as good because it is unbalanced.
So nothing is wrong at all with the omega-3 eggs, just make sure that you examine precisely what omega-3 fat is in the egg and how it got there.
DHA and EPA are pivotal in preventing heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. The human brain is also highly dependent on DHA -- low DHA levels have been linked to depression, schizophrenia, memory loss, and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's.
ALA is not equivalent in its biological effects to EPA and DHA, which are more rapidly incorporated into plasma and membrane lipids. In fact, ALA must be converted into EPA and DHA in your body, but this conversion has only a 10 to 15 percent efficiency rate.
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