Saturday, June 28, 2008

Egg is bad for health?

Egg is bad for health?

Much has been said about the benefits of consuming eggs; I’d like to shed some light on its contraindications/ cases when and why human beings shouldn’t eat eggs.

- Poor digestion affects growth: Because of incomplete digestion system, babies often time cannot digest properly. The chance of indigestion, manifested as diarrhea and vomiting, is high when eggs are in their diet. A type of protein, avidin, in the egg, blends with biotin in intestines, causing blockage of nutrients absorption. It results in poorer absorption of vitamins, affecting baby growth. From the point of view of Chinese medicine, eggs are unkind to digestion, leaving behind plenty of phlegm in the stomach/spleen systems which will further jeopardize digestion.

- Allergic reactions: Baby’s digestive tracts are premature.
The membrane of the intestines allows more permeability. The ovalbumin in the egg, with smaller molecular sizes, can penetrate the membrane and sips into the baby’s blood. Reaction of baby’s immune system is to generate some antibodies that cause the release of certain chemicals which in turn cause allergic reaction such as wheezing, diarrhea, nausea, headache, stomachache, eczema and itchy hives and so on. This happens not only to babies; some grown-ups are also affected because of different and weaker body types. For example, chronic dry and itchy skin of elderly shares similar pathology, triggered by sea food, shrimps, eggs and so on. Ever wonder why more and more babies have symptoms mentioned above, that just wouldn’t go away? One of the causes is the egg intake.

- Heat/Feverish concern: From the point of view of traditional Chinese medicine, eggs can produce plenty of warming energy (Conventional interpretation is that its protein produces calories), causing the build-up of internal heat, which is a must-not during feverish cold and cough of the syndromes of wind-heat, phlegm-heat types. Furthermore, feverish patients secrete less digestive enzymes and their activities are low. Taking eggs will cause indigestion that leads to bloatedness, diarrhea and so on. What happens then? The fever and cough linger on with more new problems in stomach wind and diarrhea.

- Consistent cough/asthma: Because of the body’s reaction to the proteins either in the white or yolk, one of the effects is sneezing. This sneezing is a triggering factor of asthma with coughing and wheezing. This is also one of the reasons why some cough/asthma can be so persistent, lasting for a long period of time. It’s simply because of the wrong diet. One of the prohibiting foods for asthmatic babies and children is eggs.

- Lower kidney function: People with chronic kidney function, as in the case of nephritis, coupled with low urination, may have trouble getting rid of metabolite waste of the body. With the intake of eggs, the egg protein causes more urea production, making the kidney system suffer more. If the situation deteriorates, it may lead to renal failure. For cases of babies and young children, their internal organs are premature and therefore have difficult time coping with protein intake of eggs.

- Liver burden: The cholesterol and fat in egg yolk are metabolized at liver, posing additional burden to liver and gallbladder systems. Those patients who have liver and gallbladder related diseases should be watchful of eggs.


Boony said...

Dear Dr John,
Thank u n happy to get the mail
from u.As our knowledge,egg is
healthy n we need it everydays.
But after reading the article, i
just realize the true.Hope can
get more info fr u others day.
Thank u n Happy writting.


John J. C. Lew said...

You're welcome, Bonny.

There are also plenty cases of itchy skin of elderly caused by consumption of sea food, shrimps, eggs and so on.

Small and large intestines of elderly are just as weak as babies and children. These proteins can sip directly into blood vessels and we know the problems from then on.

Sometimes our parents or grandparents need our attentions as much as the babies and children do.

Take care,
John Lew

Anonymous said...

Dear Physician Lew,

Your advice on eggs left me wondering too - I (and many others, I'm sure) have been brought up on the conventional wisdom that eggs are good, nourishing food. Still hard to shake off that belief, though the visual impact of the pictures accompanying the article did jolt me a bit.

So veganism it is? A vegan diet does not pose much of a deprivation for me, but I would dearly love to know how best to go vegan AND improve my health on such a diet.

Nevertheless, I continue to be a keen reader of your articles and as always, am very appreciative of your generosity in sharing your knowledge.

With best wishes,


The Runner, Dreamer, Observer, Seeker said...

Hi, John!
After reading this post today, I just realized having an Egg Mc Muffin for breakfast, Egg Tarts for tea and a chawanmushi for dinner...all in a day!! Bad, huh?
I ain't 'egg freak' - however, given a choice, I would always prefer a half boiled egg to a piece of chicken or an omelette to a bowl of mee.
Like the rest of us, I always supposed that moderate intake of egg is good for health (got omega 3 mah?). Now come to think of it - the consumption of eggs could also contribute to my constsnt body heat! I have already abstain from meat for 8 months. So, looks like I have to eliminate eggs from my diet too.
Thanks for highlighting.

John J. C. Lew said...

Dear Deborah,

The choice of food spoils us these days. Many are wrong food. Industrialization makes it worse. Human greed for convenience encourages more chemical and plastic consumptions. Those days it took 4 months to raise chicken, some longer; it's only 6 weeks these days. Wonder what chemicals or industrial 'ingredients' the chicken are eating. And wonder what we've taken in when we eat these chicken. They're smart enough not to tell the world we're eating chicken. No, we're not. We're eating NUGGETs, DRUMSTICKs, FAJITAs...

No wonder young children don't know how chicken look like. They've probably never interacted with them either. Zoo everywhere is nearing bankruptcy. Ha.

Commercialization believes in creating "need" for the market. If consumers don't know what they need, the big corporations show them "what they need" by creating more and more "colorful and attractive" food. The modern generation is just a victim of industrialization and commercialization.

Whole bunch of us are just here to consume the earth in a wrongful manner. And the greedy corporation millionaires believe they can redeem by doing philanthropic work later in life. Do they really think all processes can be reversed?

The more you know, the more you know you can't go back to ignorance and indifference.

Vegan is the way. But be a smart one. It's a lot of knowledge and wisdom in it. Everyone is learning to a better vegan. Me too.

Oh, life is bigger than just diet. There are many more wise things to learn and do.


John Lew

John J. C. Lew said...

Hi Ms. Yap,

If you are the type of person who chooses eggs over other options, the heat build-up inside the body could be substantial.

Remember to be particularly cautious about the food we tend to eat more -- they're usually the culprits.

Take care,

John Lew

YJ said...

hi! John,

Thank you so much for all those good information. It was very useful for me. You did put a lot of effort on it, i really much appreciate it.


John J. C. Lew said...

Dear YJ,

Glad you like the info. Some of the ideas come from conversations with patients and some from what I see as misunderstandings of issues. It's certainly important to clarify issues especially those with false and wrong info.

Wrong diet and bad lifestyle play increasingly important roles. That's why I shall be writing on more diet related topics.

John Lew

subramah said...

Dear John,

You not only seem to be misinformd but also are doing it to others. Your info that eggs are bad is not right. Please go thru proper scientific literature on egg and its benefits you will agree with me. During dialysis it is egg white which gives he patient serum albumin which inturn gives him more time to live.

John J. C. Lew said...

Dear Subramah,

Thank you for the info you provided. As mentioned earlier in the writing, the idea is to shed some lights on issues not familiar or probably overlooked by many. As for the beneficial areas, it's well documented by the relevant industries.

If we just choose food based on their chemical or biological contents we may most likely step into a mistake.

John Lew

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where you get your information but much of it is wrong. Egg yolks are considered neutral in Chinese medicine, and egg whites cooling. Eggs are generally metabolized very easily and completely. Egg yolks are widely recommended and used in traditional cultures as one of baby's first foods because of the rich cholesterol (good cholesterol) needed for brain development.

John J. C. Lew said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your information, which I can't say it's any less wrong.

The property of eggs may not have much to do with advantages or disadvantages of taking them.

Eggs are very difficult to be fully digested; the left-behind dampness and phlegm are clinically strong allergens, part of it I've explained in the writing.

The term and substance of 'Cholesterol' has never been in any classical TCM literature, wondering how egg yolk could then be 'widely recommended' because of it? Anything to do with brain functions is embedded in the systems of kidneys, spleen, and heart mostly in TCM. I haven't come across any literature stating or implying your last claim. I'd love to be enlightened though. Also, I wonder how long is the definition of 'traditional cultures'? 50 years? 100 years? 1,000 years or more? Common beliefs surely change over time.


John Lew