3

votes

So whats wrong with eating raw egg white?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 18, 2012 at 7:21 AM

Way back when I was a kid, my grandma would make milkshakes and banana smoothies and drop a whole raw egg into the mix. I've since carried this on and have always popped on into my protein shakes and still do. I was talking to a mate the other day who knows a bit about nutrition, and he said it's quite bad to consume raw egg whites (I have actually heard this before but ignored it), the yolk on the other hand is fine. So what's the big problem with raw whites?

7278560e76901ded4081022b54c6e165

on August 15, 2012
at 11:24 AM

Aha this awnsers my problem feeling terrible after eating undercooked eggs for breakfast. Thanks

F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

(1439)

on June 18, 2012
at 11:58 PM

Karen, the hypothesis is good enough for me, since the hypothesis is rock solid.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:27 PM

-1 for attempting to prove an issue by paleo reenactment when actual science is available. Imagining what "cavemen" ate is very useful for building hypothesis, not so much for proof.

9e975c86f483555ed19e59c5628488ca

(823)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:24 PM

the actual risk of consuming a contaminated egg is quite low. Local authorities here put it at about 1 in 20,000 eggs, and the risk of actually getting sick from it is about 1 in 500. But a 1 in a million chance of someone getting sick is enough for public health recommendations to warn against raw eggs because there's no reason they so to consume them raw.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:24 PM

Salmonella and the bad e. coli are more common in eggs etc grown in factory farmed conditions. Not that you might not run into them even in small pasture operations, but it would be much less common. Although not complete proof against problems, you can majorly reduce risk on quality eggs by washing them before cracking or dipping for 30-60 seconds in boiling water.

97c04f87a752ff0a5cf6be9d806c0334

(888)

on June 18, 2012
at 02:27 PM

I've also read that salmonella exists more so on the surface of the egg shell rather than within. As long as you're careful about cracking it, there's hardly any risk of salmonella poisoning.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on June 18, 2012
at 01:11 PM

I know this wasn't the question, but I don't even bother eating egg whites. I'm eating an adequate protein diet with a target protein intake of 62 gms/day of animal protein. While egg whites are complete, they are empty. THey have almost no other nutrients. So I throw them away and eat proteins that provide significant other nutrients. I do eat 4-6 egg yolks a day though.

85382cd84288ed28c92cbfe7bfcaf226

(184)

on June 18, 2012
at 11:31 AM

While that is a theoretical possibility, the odds of contracting salmonella from raw eggs is extremely remote.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on June 18, 2012
at 08:32 AM

Oh really? I've never heard that. So if the egg isn't rotten, and is kept in the fridge, there is a risk of salmonella? Like I said, I've been eating them raw 20+ years and haven't once been sick.

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11 Answers

10
C6e32ff9978fe287aa8c1c6be52d9524

(1548)

on June 18, 2012
at 10:43 AM

Think of raw egg whites as raw nuts with phytic acid. Raw egg white contains a protein called "conalbumin" which binds to iron (making it not biologically available to the body.) They also contains avidin, which binds to biotin and can impair metabolism of other B-vitamins. Like raw nuts and phytic acid, these proteins bind to vital vitamins and minerals rendering them unusable by the body. (Or at least far less digestible since I don't have specific numbers.)

Yolks are fine to eat raw, but whites are more bio-available to the body upon cooking.The anti-nutrient profile is eliminated/reduced rendering all major nutrients usable.

7278560e76901ded4081022b54c6e165

on August 15, 2012
at 11:24 AM

Aha this awnsers my problem feeling terrible after eating undercooked eggs for breakfast. Thanks

4
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on June 18, 2012
at 10:51 AM

supposedly, raw egg white has some bioactive proteins and one, avidin, can cause biotin deficiency.
"...(biotin) deficiencies can be caused by consuming raw egg whites over a period of months to years. Egg whites contain high levels of avidin, a protein that binds biotin strongly. When cooked, avidin is partially denatured and becomes somewhat non-toxic. A recent study1 found that activity in fried, poached and boiled (2 min) egg white was 33, 71 and 40% of the activity in raw egg white respectively..."

You can always supplement with Biotin or get from other food sources to counter the whole raw eggs if you feel the need

edit: another different wiki link to biotin deficiency.
"...(biotin) deficiency can be caused by the consumption of raw egg whites (two or more), which contain high levels of the protein avidin, which binds biotin strongly, daily for several months, has caused biotin deficiency serious enough to produce symptoms..."

0
872efa6f38c84c8ce289784b5221f360

on June 01, 2013
at 11:09 PM

Doctor Mercola advocates eating whole raw eggs and has been doing this for years. His point is that there's enough biotin in the yolk to compensate for avidin in the egg whites. Chris Masterjohn, I know, is against the (raw) whites though. Regarding conalbumin, well, lowering iron isn't necessarily a bad thing if you get too much anyway (being paleo, let's say, you get more than enough from red meats). In fact, lowering serum iron is something that many people in the life extension space do by donating blood every two months. Too much iron could be worse than being on the low border. I think if people believe in the Paleo idea, raw whole eggs are totally okay with no debate. If you don't believe raw whole eggs are good, then obviously you should question the whole Paleo idea as well.

0
D22907c26edb0f478d45f0e976fd3d8d

on May 11, 2013
at 11:39 AM

IN doing a search for enzyme inhibitors, I came across a website listing raw egg whites, peanuts, soybeans and lima beans. I separate the yolk from the white and cook the white but I would guess anyone taking nutrient supplements including enzymes wouldn't have a problem either way.

0
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:39 AM

Raw egg whites are absolutely fine if they are sourced properly. There is zero risk of bacteria from lack of refrigeration in a pastured eggs because they do not require cold. They can stay at room temperature.

0
673f7ad6052448d51496f177395416b7

on June 18, 2012
at 07:18 PM

So in summary, eating the raw yolks only (and discarding the egg whites) will avoid both the issues of salmonella and anti-nutrients, correct?

0
F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

on June 18, 2012
at 05:15 PM

Rob, the big problem with eating raw egg whites is that your friend doesn't know what he is talking about. Your grandma was right and your friend is wrong. Think back 25,000 years ago. Can you imagine Oog telling Gog that eggs white were bad for him? If egg white were bad for people, there wouldn't be any people. Eggs have got to be one of the most frequently eaten items since they don't fight back. Easy nutrition with zero resistance. So we can be sure that whole eggs, even some of the shell, were a major part of the paleo diet. And you have evolved to eat whole, raw eggs.

However, this is bad advice if you are eating high carbs and are otherwise not eating and living paleo.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:27 PM

-1 for attempting to prove an issue by paleo reenactment when actual science is available. Imagining what "cavemen" ate is very useful for building hypothesis, not so much for proof.

F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

(1439)

on June 18, 2012
at 11:58 PM

Karen, the hypothesis is good enough for me, since the hypothesis is rock solid.

0
7fb4e9fb1162999cdd5099fee49dd0a7

on June 18, 2012
at 10:50 AM

I heard it being bandied about for a while that consuming egg whites without the yolk prevented it from being a complete protein. That seems to have been settled more or less now.

Egg whites seem to have been lumped into this category:

"...Some foods contain all the essential amino acids on their own in a sufficient amount to qualify as a "complete protein.." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_protein

I guess you'll have to decide whether a 'sufficient amount' according to the regulators is enough for you.

0
53d564b7ac4caaeb951225a327c8fae0

(16)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:35 AM

the bacteria. salmonella is the biggest concern with raw eggs / meat.Q

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on June 18, 2012
at 08:32 AM

Oh really? I've never heard that. So if the egg isn't rotten, and is kept in the fridge, there is a risk of salmonella? Like I said, I've been eating them raw 20+ years and haven't once been sick.

85382cd84288ed28c92cbfe7bfcaf226

(184)

on June 18, 2012
at 11:31 AM

While that is a theoretical possibility, the odds of contracting salmonella from raw eggs is extremely remote.

97c04f87a752ff0a5cf6be9d806c0334

(888)

on June 18, 2012
at 02:27 PM

I've also read that salmonella exists more so on the surface of the egg shell rather than within. As long as you're careful about cracking it, there's hardly any risk of salmonella poisoning.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:24 PM

Salmonella and the bad e. coli are more common in eggs etc grown in factory farmed conditions. Not that you might not run into them even in small pasture operations, but it would be much less common. Although not complete proof against problems, you can majorly reduce risk on quality eggs by washing them before cracking or dipping for 30-60 seconds in boiling water.

9e975c86f483555ed19e59c5628488ca

(823)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:24 PM

the actual risk of consuming a contaminated egg is quite low. Local authorities here put it at about 1 in 20,000 eggs, and the risk of actually getting sick from it is about 1 in 500. But a 1 in a million chance of someone getting sick is enough for public health recommendations to warn against raw eggs because there's no reason they so to consume them raw.

-1
647d48a7efb233846e1c9b2dd28320ff

on May 23, 2013
at 12:00 PM

oh heck just drank a pint of raw egg whites bye see youe soon

-1
Ec0aff838fe2c1ceeefaae673d3d725c

(14)

on June 18, 2012
at 08:19 AM

It's not bad, its just that the body can use the egg protein more if it is cooked. The yolk should be left runny and not cooked so the cholesterol in it won't get oxidized.

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