Note: this is about eating eggs. If you’re looking for info on Endometriosis and freezing your eggs for fertility treatments, click here.
So you may know a lot of the dietary restrictions many women choose to follow with Endometriosis. I’ve heard “don’t eat eggs,” and “eat eggs!” I LOVE me some eggs, so have decided to continue to devour them, but am curious as to the whole “don’t eat eggs” mentality – and it’s something I’ve never really looked into. I’m assuming it has to do with hormones and proteins, just like red meats and dairy, but will give it a looksy today.
Before I get started, I will reiterate : your dietary restrictions may be different than mine. What makes me feel good may make you feel worse, and vice versa. If you don’t know how your body responds to eggs, cut them out for 3 weeks and reintroduce them…pay attention to how you feel. Are your symptoms better? Worse? Unchanged? It’s an individual experience.
So, are eggs bad for Endometriosis?
Some believe women with Endometriosis should eat eggs to maintain healthy levels of protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and iron. Others believe that eggs may contain increased hormones (for production value) or dioxins and chemicals (from the chicken feed or other contaminates), which will transfer into our bodies and feed our Endometriosis. For example, if hens are fed a soy-based feed, a small amount phytoestrogens (yes, those estrogens which effect our levels of estrogen) may transfer to the egg. A lot of chicken feed is made with soybeans. It’s a “Three Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” theory – but if you’re wanting to limit your intake, you may want to research what your chickens are eating…A 2016 study found that hens who were fed flax sprouts laid eggs with a higher phytoestrogen concentration than other eggs. There’s that evil “P” word again…
In Iran, a 2015 study found that 3% of commercially-sold eggs tested positive for antibiotic contaminate residue on the shells – the yolks of many of those eggs were found to be contaminated with tetracycline and aminoglycosides, making them unfit for human consumption.
Eggs are also a source of arachidonic acid, which is a pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acid. PRO-INFLAMMATORY. Fore more info on arachidonic acid, check out this video :
However, that being said, others believe eggs are a great tool to help fight inflammation (especially when combined with a low-carb diet) because of the high Omega-3 fatty acids found in eggs. The usual back and forth – they’re good for you, they’re bad for you, they’re good for you, they’re…
It’s been suggested that if you do eat eggs (mmmmm…eggs!), to purchase organic, free-range eggs to reduce the chances of manipulated hormones or chemical contamination. Suggestions I’ve found? Try to purchase “barnyard eggs,” where the hens have been fed their natural diet (worms, bugs, nasties) and not corn/soy. However – do be wary even those options may not be good for you ( regardless of what sort of feed and treatment the hens received):
A 2016 study of home-grown chicken eggs in Tanzania found unhealthy dioxin levels in the eggs – which may have been from feed or ground contamination. A 2016 study of eggs in the Netherands and Greece found that home-raised chickens were exposed to more PFASs (man-made chemicals) than farm/factory-raised chickens and the figures may have varied due to outdoor contact and exposure to the chemicals. Another 2016 study found that eggs from free-range chickens were contaminated with unsafe dioxin levels due to the chemically-treated wood of their hen house. This study states, “because organic and free-range eggs are increasingly more popular among consumers who prefer to buy ‘healthy’ food, the monitoring of such products is essential to minimize the potential health risks associated with additional and unnecessary exposure to persistent organic pollutants, including dioxins.”
Wanna skip out on eggs? Try using egg substitutes when baking: a potato starch product, arrowroot powder, psyllium seed husk, bananas, applesauce, flax seed (*runs away*), or even baking powder. Do your research to figure out which method would be best to use as a binder for your baking needs…
So what I learned today:
- Eggs may be bad for Endometriosis because of the pro-inflammatory properties of arachidonic acid, an Omega-6 fatty acid;
- Eggs may be good for Endometriosis because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the Omega-3 fatty acids;
- Farm/factory-raised eggs may be contaminated with dioxins, chemicals, etc.;
- Free-range/cage-free raised eggs may be contaminated with dioxins, chemicals, etc.; and
- Phytoestrogen levels may be increased in eggs due to soy or flax in the feed.
Is your head spinning yet? Mine is.
So, all of this bad talk about eggs…and then throw in a dash of “the good talk” – what am I going to do? Well, I love eggs too much to stop eating them, BUT I will be doing my research when it comes to brands of eggs, feeding habits, etc. I know there’s a local egg farm near my house – I may just look into their feeding practices and buy from them. I will likely be paying more than I am comfortable with, which may lead me to reducing my egg intake altogether (ha!).
What about you? Gonna change your egg-eating habits at all?
(Updated March 25, 2019)
Agronomy – (Article; Feb. 2016) Organically Grown Soybean Production in the USA: Constraints and Management of Pathogens and Insect Pests
Ami Marshall – (Blog) The Endometriosis Diet: Eggs & Soy
Atkins – Inflammation, Eggs and a Lower Carb Eating Program
Chemosphere – (Article; Feb. 2016) Perfluoroalkylated Substances (PFASs) in Home and Commercially Produced Chicken Eggs from the Netherlands and Greece
Diet Health Club – (Article) Endometriosis Diet, Nutrition
Dr. Lisa Watson – (Blog) The Endometriosis Diet
End of Pain – (Blog) Eggs are OK!
Endometriosis Diet – (Blog) Foods You Should Avoid
Environmental Pollution – (Article; Jan. 2016) Pentachlorophenol from an Old Henhouse as a Dioxin Source in Eggs and Related Human Exposure
Everyday Health – (Article; May 2010) Essentials of an Endometriosis Diet
Google Books – (Excerpt) Recipes for the Endometriosis Diet
HannahSmith86 – (Blog) The Endometriosis Diet
Huffington Post – (Article; Sept. 2013) Are Eggs Really Nature’s Perfect Food?
Journal of Functional Foods – (Article; April 2016) Aflalfa and Flax Sprouts Supplementation Enriches the Content of Bioactive Compounds and Lowers the Cholesterol in Hen Egg
Livestrong – (Article; June 2011) Arachidonic Acid and Inflammation
My Endo Coach – (Blog) Endometriosis Diet
Natural Fertility Info – (Blog) 5 Steps to Reversing Infertility
NutritionFacts.org – (Video) Chicken, Eggs, and Inflammation
Phoenix Helix – (Blog) My Experience with the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol
Prevention – (Article; Feb. 2016) The 10 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Keep on Hand
Science of the Total Environment – (Article; May 2016) Dioxins, PCBs, Chlorinated Pesticides and Brominated Flame Retardants in Free-Range Chicken Eggs from Peri-Urban Areas in Arusha, Tanzania: Levels and Implications for Human Health
The Iranian Journal of Veterinary Science and Technology – (Abstract; 2015) A Survey of Antibiotic Residues in Commercial Eggs in Kermanshah, Iran
Today’s Dietitian – (Article; Feb. 2013) Gut Health and Autoimmune Disease – Research Suggests Digestive Abnormalities May Be the Underlying Cause
~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa