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Gluten-Free Eggs
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I was a vegan before I gave up gluten, and it is proving to be very difficult to be both gluten free and vegan. I'm considering reintroducing eggs, but I've read that people who are super-sensitive like me can sometimes react to eggs if the hens were fed gluten. Have any of you found that there some truth to this? If so, do any of you know of any brands that feed their egg-layng hens a gluten-free vegetarian diet?

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Hi Vegan Girl and Welcome to the Forum.

 

If someone has an issue with eggs it is not from gluten.  Egg allergies or sensitivities are a separate issue.

 

Colleen

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There is absolutely no scientific evidence that chickens somehow "pass" gluten into their eggs, despite what some people

say on the internet. Believe me, I have looked.

 

Enjoy those eggs!

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You haven't been gluten-free that long and so you shouldn't jump to the conclusion that you're sensitive to gluten in eggs. The vast majority of celiacs, even the more sensitive ones, are fine with all eggs. You should try introducing them and just watch closely for any reaction. However, you started this thread in the super-sensitive forum and so deserve a few responses from actual super-sensitives.

 

Yes, I absolutely react to eggs that are fed gluten. I know this without a shadow of a doubt. My doctors don't doubt it either. I definitely got more sensitive over time and don't think I was having issues with eggs at first. I first noticed problems with eggs after being gluten-free for about 2.5 years. I switched to eggs from the farmers market that were mostly pasture-fed and I was fine with those. When the season ended and I tried eggs from other local farms, but that were eating more feed, I reacted again.

 

I was very lucky to know someone who has her own laying hens. I spoke with her and she switched her feed to a soy-free feed (I thought that was the problem), that also happened to be gluten-free. I did great with those eggs - absolutely no issues. Then, while I was on vacation she switched the feed to new feed that was still soy-free but had wheat in it, but didn't mention it to me. Not her fault; I had been focused on the soy. After I came back I got seriously sick. So sick it was like when I first was diagnosed. I developed a DH rash, which I had NEVER before had. I scheduled doctors' appts, had blood work, went crazy trying to figure out what had changed in my diet (nothing, as far as I could tell). I even gave up my last few processed foods (Udis, etc.) and went on a 100% no processed food diet. No difference. I was at wits end and sicker than ever, and getting worse every day. Imagine how discouraging while eating NO processed foods in a gluten-free house and with no restaurants in my life. Finally, just in case, I cut out the eggs. I immediately improved. The difference was remarkable. That was it! I went to this person and asked her if anything had changed - lo and behold, she told me about the new feed. She switched back to the gluten-free feed, I waited a couple weeks to re-introduce them, and I have been great on those eggs ever since. They do eat oats and I am fine with that. I have also re-introduced a few of the processed foods back with no issues. This was a wake-up call to how sensitive I am, though, so I keep those items extremely limited.

 

Other super-sensitives report similar stories to mine. If you'd like to know more, feel free to pm me. I'll stress again though that this is not indicative of most celiacs, and those of us who are this sensitive generally take a long time to get there. After only 7 months gluten-free, you should just try eggs and not worry about it unless you notice a problem.

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 She switched back to the gluten-free feed, I waited a couple weeks to re-introduce them, and I have been great on those eggs ever since.

 

They do eat oats and I am fine with that. I have also re-introduced a few of the processed foods back with no issues. This was a wake-up call to how sensitive I am, though, so I keep those items extremely limited.

 

Other super-sensitives report similar stories to mine. If you'd like to know more, feel free to pm me. I'll stress again though that this is not indicative of most celiacs, and those of us who are this sensitive generally take a long time to get there. After only 7 months gluten-free, you should just try eggs and not worry about it unless you notice a problem.

 

 

This leads me to ask.....so, I guess those are certified gluten free oats those chickens are eating? 

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Eggs do not have gluten.  If they are farm fresh they do need to be washed well.

 

If someone has issue with eggs, I would argue that they are having issue with either the white, the yolk or both. Eggs have high lectin and histamine content which can cause bloating or other symptoms that could make someone with celiac disease erroneously think they had been glutened.

 

I speak from experience...I spent far too long thinking I was accidentally glutened by this or that when in actuality I had many other issues with different foods and food groups that had yet to be discovered.

 

Eggs are awesome -- Enjoy :)

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This leads me to ask.....so, I guess those are certified gluten free oats those chickens are eating? 

 

Actually, no. That's why I mentioned it. The amount of gluten those oats may contain, then processed by the chicken, is not enough quantity to cause an issue for me.

 

I will add that it pains me whenever I read on this board that someone thinks they are egg intolerant. Eggs are such a valuable nutritious food, it's worth exploring. I believe that many of those people may very well end up correct, but I don't think anyone who is gluten-free can jump to that conclusion without first testing how they respond to pasture-fed eggs. If even if a small minority of those people find they're ok with pasture-fed eggs, well, it's worth having explored it.

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Actually, no. That's why I mentioned it. The amount of gluten those oats may contain, then processed by the chicken, is not enough quantity to cause an issue for me.

 

I will add that it pains me whenever I read on this board that someone thinks they are egg intolerant. Eggs are such a valuable nutritious food, it's worth exploring. I believe that many of those people may very well end up correct, but I don't think any celiac can jump to that conclusion without first testing how they respond to pasture-fed eggs. If even if a small minority of those people find they're ok with pasture-fed eggs, well, it's worth having explored it.

 

 

Just to point out - the OP does not have Celiac so I am not sure if the super sensitive Celiac "rules" apply here.  She may have some other issue with foods she hasn't discovered.  In my opinion, she should just try the eggs and see how it goes.  

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This is my experience.  My son and I are both very sensitive.  My daughter is a little less so, but quite sensitive too.  We thought that we were reacting to a national brand of high omega 3 eggs from the grocery store.  When we eliminated them we improved.  Coorelation is not causation so we can't be sure that the eggs were the cause of the problem.  We were doing a lot of healing at the same time.  Then we tried pasture fed eggs from the farmer's market.  We tolerated them well.  As winter came we started reacting to them.  Again we can't be certain that the eggs were the cause of the problem, but we got better when we eliminated them.  I spoke to the farmer and she said that they had access to their feed during the summer but didn't eat much of it.  In the winter they ate a lot more of the feed which contained wheat.  The next summer we tried eggs again from a different source who said that they didn't use any feed during the summer.  We didn't react, but as winter came we reacted again.  Again the supplier told us that in the winter the hens get wheat containing feed.  I don't know if it is the feed, or something else about the winter, like not being in the sun.  What I do now is freeze eggs in the summer to last through the winter.  That has worked for 2 seasons.  My daughter has gone off to college in another city and reacted to eggs there so she still only eats the ones I can bring her from here from time to time.

 

I should try store eggs again.  I do think that I have eliminated things that I didn't need to and eggs might be one of those things.  I may be going to a lot of effort freezing them when I don't need to.  I need a time when I'm not too busy to spend a week lying on the couch.  I have heard from too many people having the same problem not to think that it is a risk.

 

It looks like some wheat containing coating can be used on eggs: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2002.tb11398.x/abstract

 

I was also vegan when diagnosed and now I eat 2 -3 eggs a day, as well as some cheese and milk (pasture-fed).  I found it too hard to eat enough nutrients and calories as a gluten contamination restricted vegan.

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Is it an option to have your own chickens? If you did that, then you could have total control over what they ate.

 

Like others said, it doesn't hurt to try them and see how you respond to them.

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Actually, no. That's why I mentioned it. The amount of gluten those oats may contain, then processed by the chicken, is not enough quantity to cause an issue for me.

 

 

If you believe this, then why do you assume that you are reacting to possible gluten in the egg from the chicken having been fed grains? That makes no sense.

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I think the obvious answer is that there is far less gluten in oats that may be cc'd as compared to actual wheat. Whatever is in the egg, whether it be at a very low ppm's of gluten threshold or a broken down metabolite that's causing the issue, is not enough to affect me.

 

I'd love for science to research this and get back to us.

 

In the meantime, it's not about what I believe. I'm just relating what I've observed for myself over a lot of painful trial and error. I do what works for me now and keeps me able to eat eggs without being sick.

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chicken feed goes through digestive tract of chicken.   eggs come out of reproductive system.  two different 'highways' which are not combined.  

 

y'all lost me on this one.   except if maybe they don't wash them ?  because, eggs are made from, well....  egg....   :huh:

 

otherwise, my grandpa was right - feed the cows chocolate and they'll give chocolate milk   ^_^

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Partially digested food and eggs come out of the same "highway".

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Partially digested food and eggs come out of the same "highway".

Since no one has thrown out the technical terms here yet, here is a good page that explains things so we can all be familiar with the process:  http://www.afn.org/~poultry/egghen.htm  ----DONT CLICK IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE CHICKEN BUTT PICTURES--------

 

There is one hole that everything comes out of on a hen.  However, the link above explains that their bodies have a method of segmenting off the dirty part when a clean egg comes out so the egg is not normally contaminated in the laying process.  More contamination happens when the egg goes onto the dirty ground/cage that has feces stomped around all over.  In the US, eggs you get at the supermarket that are USDA graded are washed with a sanitizing solution (More here on page 6: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3004502 )  Of course that is why we refrigerate our eggs, and in Europe they are not processed this way and are left at room temperature.  But this isn't about that debate.  What that means is all eggs no matter where you buy them should be treated just like you treat raw meat... separate raw foods from cooked foods, and wash your hands after handling the uncooked item. ( http://www.eggsafety.org/consumers/consumer-faqs#HANDLING1 for more info).  Using the egg shell itself to separate the egg can also introduce harmful bacteria from the outer shell.  ( http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/business-and-trade/food-safety/safe-handling-eggs for more concise and clear info on handling).  To clarify before assumptions are made, this whole paragraph has been about germs, not gluten.

 

Either way, as said above, there is no scientific evidence that shows gluten passes into the egg when fed to the hen.  Anecdotal evidence does not replace scientific research.  With all of that said, if you feel like eating eggs or certain types of eggs causes you grief, do not eat them.   

 

For additional information, although the author on this blog is not an expert herself, this is a very well written article with good primary sources and quotes that would be helpful:  http://www.glutenfreegigi.com/what-science-says-about-gluten-protein-in-eggs/

 

Lastly, just because you see something on the internet, does not mean it is true.  Try to look for actual experts who provide scientific evidence, not anecdotal evidence or people who are non-experts making assumptions based on studies they are not trained to understand.

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Let's just cut to the chase here. Eggs from chickens or meat from animals....all gluten free.

 

University of Chicago Celiac Disease Research Center

 

 

Should someone with celiac disease worry about eating grain-fed meat?

Grain-fed animal by-products (eggs, meat, etc.) do not have to be avoided for people on a gluten-free diet. Regardless of what an animal eats, the meat from it is gluten-free.

 

 

 

and for the record....I AM a "sensitive" sort...I will react to low CC and trace gluten, I eat eggs. I am fine. 

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there is no scientific evidence that shows gluten passes into the egg when fed to the hen

 

Yes, and Jane Anderson explains very well why there is a lack of formal research on this (I included the relevant paragraphs below). I'm also not convinced that the entire gluten protein is inside the egg, rather some broken-down metabolite that some of our bodies are reacting to. Which may be especially pertinent to those suffering from NCGS (as the OP is), since there's so little that's known about that disorder. Per Dr. Fasano, patients with NCGS often report far greater levels of sensitivity than celiacs.

 

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/glutenfreefoodshopping/f/Are-Eggs-Gluten-Free.htm

"Can Gluten-Eating Chickens Produce Gluten-Containing Eggs?

Now, as I said earlier, a few people who are quite sensitive to trace gluten have reported glutenings(i.e., gluten reactions) when they eat eggs from chickens that eat mainly wheat and barley. These same people are fine when they eat eggs they obtain from farmers who don't feed their chickens gluten grains.

Now, this may seem pretty far-fetched, but there's actually a bit of scientific evidence that indicates it may be possible for proteins or protein fragments to pass from chicken feed into the eggs themselves (gluten is a protein).

An Ohio State University graduate student experimented with feeding chickens a diet high in soy protein to see if he could influence the amount of soy isoflavones (a component of soy protein) in those chickens' eggs. He found that he could: chickens fed the high-soy diet routinely produced eggs higher in isoflavones. (You can read the thesis here)

Now, obviously this experiment did not involve gluten grains. However, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that it's possible for gluten-eating chickens to produce eggs that contain a tiny bit of gluten protein (or, more likely, gluten protein fragments).

If these eggs did have gluten in them, it would be a very small amount — likely far below even 1 part per million (for comparison, foods are generally considered "gluten-free" if they contain fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten, or are less than 0.0001% gluten). Commercially available tests for gluten in foods can't reliably detect gluten below around 3 parts per million, so it's impossible to say how much gluten, if any, actually is in these eggs.

But yes, some people are sensitive to gluten at those levels, and they've reported seeing their symptoms resolve when they drop eggs from gluten-fed chickens. They've been able to eat eggs again by sourcing them directly from farmers who don't feed their chickens gluten grains.

I should point out that there's a growing number of small farmers who advertise soy-free eggs for people who are sensitive to soy proteins. It honestly wouldn't surprise me to see gluten-free eggs advertised in the same way over the next few years."

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Let's for sanity sake of all future celiacs that read this thread, agree to disagree.

 

99.9 percent of celiacs should, and I say "should" be able to eat eggs with no problem. They aren't a gluten containing item.  A very small percentage of people might react to what is fed to the chickens.  THIS IS RARE.  I don't want to have a bunch of newbies running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to find farmers that don't feed their chickens wheat, you are safe to buy eggs from the grocery store.  Some might not be able to eat egg just because of the effect they have on one's stomach, they tend to cause bloating, gas and diarrhea.  Some can have them baked or cooked into a recipe, and others just can't eat eggs at all.  If they don't bother you, egg away.  If they do, don't eat them or find a balance of what you can handle. But please don't discount them based on a thesis study done on SOY protein not GLUTEN.

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Partially digested food and eggs come out of the same "highway".

sort of.  but not.  i understand what you mean, but the egg is already formed by the time they get to the 'exit' 

 

annnnd, just because this needs to be said:

 

guess what????  

chicken butt!!!   :D

 

(sorry lololz)  

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Beth, OP posted her question to the super sensitive forum. Not the newbie forum. None of this applies to newbies. That's why there's a sticky at the top of this forum with a big giant DISCLAIMER.  I NEVER would have posted my reply outside of this forum. I thought I was clear with that in my original reply, as well as telling her that she should just try eggs.

 

This is an ongoing problem with the super-sensitive forum. There's a reason this forum exists; there has to be one place where super-sensitives can discuss their experiences without fearing attack (so far that's not the case). I do not post anywhere else on this board. People need to be sensitive to the fact that super-sensitives will post their experiences here and not apologize for it. If I were not super-sensitive, I would simply not read this forum.

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Beth, OP posted her question to the super sensitive forum. Not the newbie forum. None of this applies to newbies. That's why there's a sticky at the top of this forum with a big giant DISCLAIMER.  I NEVER would have posted my reply outside of this forum. I thought I was clear with that in my original reply, as well as telling her that she should just try eggs.

 

This is an ongoing problem with the super-sensitive forum. There's a reason this forum exists; there has to be one place where super-sensitives can discuss their experiences without fearing attack (so far that's not the case). I do not post anywhere else on this board. People need to be sensitive to the fact that super-sensitives will post their experiences here and not apologize for it. If I were not super-sensitive, I would simply not read this forum.

 

 

This is a celiac forum with a sub section for "super sensitives". 

 

i am a sensitive celiac...meaning I do react horribly to trace gluten. I am discussing this with you. 

 

But here is one simple fact: there is no gluten in eggs, period. Sorry.

 

People continue to post the 1 article that involves soy protein and Jane Anderson (the author of the article) herself says:

 

Now, obviously this experiment did not involve gluten grains. However, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that it's possible for gluten-eating chickens to produce eggs that contain a tiny bit of gluten protein (or, more likely, gluten protein fragments).

 

yeah, sorry, but  it is a stretch.

I do not IMAGINE gluten in anything. It is or it isn't. 

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Having been a new person on this forum recently, it is hard to navigate when doing searches.  If you search egg sensitivity every thread with those words pops up and it isn't sorted by where it is found on the forum, so yes a newbie could read this.  If you look at the forum by "new content", it also comes up.  Not everyone who looks these things up happen to notice the dates that things are discussed or what part of the forum they are found in.

 

I am not discounting anyone's sensitivities, I have my own.

 

I am also not going to apologize for writing what I did because I for one don't agree with people constantly quoting "research" or articles which really have no bearing to the original subject which then is misleading to others that read these threads later, research and articles that are based on suppositions such as the one you quoted.  This " research" has nothing to do with gluten found in eggs, it's soy.  One has nothing to do with the other and hasn't been proven to correlate. Not everyone has that thought process and while you are entitled to your opinion, I am in turn entitled to mine.

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Since no one has thrown out the technical terms here yet, here is a good page that explains things so we can all be familiar with the process:  http://www.afn.org/~poultry/egghen.htm  ----DONT CLICK IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE CHICKEN BUTT PICTURES--------

 

From picture 1 to picture 2 where the egg is laid, a new hole appears.  That seems strange to me, but I have an appointment and can't research it now.  Anyone?

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From picture 1 to picture 2 where the egg is laid, a new hole appears.  That seems strange to me, but I have an appointment and can't research it now.  Anyone?

It's not a new hole. It explains that some " membrane" or wall gets compressed down and covers the other pipe as the egg passes by.

Now. I know nothing about chickens but I trust that Laura has found us some correct info. Perhaps you can find some more anatomically detailed drawings or photos that would ease your mind?

But really - eggs are washed and the shells can be washed at home before cracking if you(a general "you" not directed at Steph specifically)  would like.  Or just don't eat them if you all have an issue with them.  Maybe try quail or duck eggs?

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Thanks Kareng, I guess the diagram was missing the mutual oriface that both of those passageways went through.  I thought it was illustrating a new hole being created as the egg was coming out.  I guess I like my pictures to be more scientifically complete.

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