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Can Symptoms Of Egg Intolerance Mimic Those Of Being Glutened?

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I realised a few weeks ago that I have become intolerant to eggs. I avoided it compleatly for two weeks, then last weekend i had just a little egg in some muffins, to see if that might work out. At first it seemd to, but later that day my stomace started acting up, joints started hurting, appetite gone, next morning I felt dizzy, depressed and really fatuiged and all the other gluten-symptoms I get. I desided I had eather been glutend or eggs gave me the same reaction. By friday I was pretty much fine again. Yesterday I desided to try with a little bit of egg whites in some food, and same thing happens again, I feel totaly glutend. Thing is, on the weekends we all have a big brakefast together, and the kids are really sloppy with their crumbs, so there is a good chance i HAVE been glutend, any way to know without trying it out any more? I'm so sick of feeling sick, but at the same time I'm having a really hard time figuring out the egg-free cooking...

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Well, I was all set to say "yes, absolutely!" to your question, because other food intolerances can cause these symptoms

 

but  then, you said this:

 

 

on the weekends we all have a big brakefast together, and the kids are really sloppy with their crumbs, so there is a good chance i HAVE been glutend,

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Yup.

But, it is posible it's the eggs? I'm leaning more towars that now, as I am already starting to feel better now, and i only ha a little egg whites, and last weekend I had quite a bit more egg, and was knoked out for almost the whole week....

I have never had a problem with eggs before, and after going glutenfree I ate ALOT of eggs and was doing so good for weeks, and now this...

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I can't have eggs (only okay in baked goods - no scrambled eggs or omelettes). When I do I get awful acid reflux that lasts for days. Also a symptom that I associate with gluten. 

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I cannot eat eggs plain ( like fried or scrambled, etc) but I can tolerate them in baked goods.

 

Never could get a straight answer from the allergist about why, but I suspect it's the manner of cooking at high heat that affects the chemistry

of the protein. (This topic was written about recently in Living Without magazine, so I am not just making that up :D .)

 

It's maddening, because eggs are a great source of protein and I'd love to able to eat them more often.

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Eggs can definitely give gluten-like symptoms. They make me drowsy and give me tremendously painful headaches, both also gluten symptoms for me. Some people seem to be able to tolerate real farm fresh eggs, as in eggs from your neighbor, but can't handle commercial eggs. I look forward to having my own chickens someday. I hope I'll be able to tolerate those eggs at least! 

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I have a funny response to eggs.  I can eat eggs in the summer when the suppliers chickens are out in pasture.  Then in winter when they take them in and give them feed, the eggs make me sick.  Now I have learned to freeze them in the summer so that I can have eggs year around.  

Wow.  This is quite stunning.  I have suspected for quite a while that something like this was possible in people with celiac disease, but you are the first individual I am aware of who has expressed these clear cut side effects from eggs.  Eggs from grain fed chickens are very high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids, with an omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio of about 20-30 to 1.  Eggs from 100% grass fed chickens are low in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids, with an omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio of about 1 to 1.  The first time I learned about this was reading the book "Anticancer:  A New Way of Life" by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., PhD.  

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Wow.  This is quite stunning.  I have suspected for quite a while that something like this was possible in people with celiac disease, but you are the first individual I am aware of who has expressed these clear cut side effects from eggs.  Eggs from grain fed chickens are very high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids, with an omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio of about 20-30 to 1.  Eggs from 100% grass fed chickens are low in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids, with an omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio of about 1 to 1.  The first time I learned about this was reading the book "Anticancer:  A New Way of Life" by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., PhD.  

 

How interesting.  It would be nice to have another explanation for my symptoms besides reactions to extremely low levels of gluten.  I decided to look into this further.  

 

My source on eggs gave an omega 6 to 3 ratio of 15 to 1 with 1616 mg omega 6 in a cup.  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/117/2

 

I eat a lot of olive oil which has a ratio of 13 to 1 with 21088 mg omega 6 in a cup.  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/509/2

 

In a meal I would probably eat a half cup of eggs cooked with vegetables in 2 tablespoons of oil.  That would make 808 mg omega 6 from the eggs and 2636 mg omega 6 from the olive oil.  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/509/2

 

It would seem to me that the omegas in the olive oil would swamp out the omegas in the eggs.

 

Additionally, I can sit down and eat a ton of squash seeds.  They are also high in omega 6 oils with a ratio of 103 omega 6 to omega 3 with 5605 mg per cup.  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3141/2

 

Wow, with that high omega 6 ratio, I am surprised that I can eat squash seeds at all without a big inflammatory response if they would provoke that.

 

I don't think that the omega ratio explains my issues based on those facts.  With your more comprehensive knowledge, can you explain more?

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How interesting.  It would be nice to have another explanation for my symptoms besides reactions to extremely low levels of gluten.  I decided to look into this further.  

 

My source on eggs gave an omega 6 to 3 ratio of 15 to 1 with 1616 mg omega 6 in a cup.  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/117/2

 

I eat a lot of olive oil which has a ratio of 13 to 1 with 21088 mg omega 6 in a cup.  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/509/2

 

In a meal I would probably eat a half cup of eggs cooked with vegetables in 2 tablespoons of oil.  That would make 808 mg omega 6 from the eggs and 2636 mg omega 6 from the olive oil.  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/509/2

 

It would seem to me that the omegas in the olive oil would swamp out the omegas in the eggs.

 

Additionally, I can sit down and eat a ton of squash seeds.  They are also high in omega 6 oils with a ratio of 103 omega 6 to omega 3 with 5605 mg per cup.  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3141/2

 

Wow, with that high omega 6 ratio, I am surprised that I can eat squash seeds at all without a big inflammatory response if they would provoke that.

 

I don't think that the omega ratio explains my issues based on those facts.  With your more comprehensive knowledge, can you explain more?

 

The egg data you cite for the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 15 to 1 comes from the USDA and is based on grain fed chickens here in the United States.  The ratio of 1 to 1 which I cited comes from grass fed chickens in Greece and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine about 24 years ago:

 

n-3 fatty acids in eggs from range-fed Greek chickens.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=n%E2%80%933+Fatty+Acids+in+Eggs+from+Range-Fed+Greek+Chickens

 

You have some excellent questions.   The fact of the matter is that olive oil is different than egg fat because it contains anti-inflammatory phenols like “hydroxytyrosol” and antibacterial phenols like “oleuropein”, as well as antioxidants which protect against damage from free radicals.  Egg fats do not contain any of these protective molecules.  I should add that these phenols and antioxidants are thought to play a major role in the widely touted beneficial aspects of the “Mediterranean Diet”.  Now just to draw an analogy illustrating the importance of consuming protective molecules with inflammatory molecules, think of what happens when you drop a lit match on a pile of dry wood, and compare that to what happens when you simultaneously pour water with a lit match.  I believe the same thing is happening in the gastrointestinal tract with these different sources of fat, both of which contain significant amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.  I suspect the problem with your "simultaneous" consumption of olive oil and high omega 6 eggs in the same meal is that the physical distance between protective molecules in the olive oil and inflammatory omega 6's in the eggs is way too great on a molecular level to protect the gastrointestinal tract:  the olive oil adherent to the vegetables and the egg particles are not liquid and do not mix instantaneously, something that would be required to prevent damage from being done to the gastrointestinal surface cells.  Also, I should add that the inflammatory effects of omega 6's in the eggs and olive oil are additive--omega 6's in the olive oil do not swamp out omega 6's in the eggs.  Finally, one has to consider the effect of relative concentrations of protective molecules versus inflammatory omega 6's:  there are sufficient amounts of protective molecules in the olive oil to counteract inflammatory omega 6's in the olive oil, but not enough to also counteract omega 6's in the eggs.  It is like having a football team with 11 players trying to neutralize a football team with 16 players--the 11 player team will generally be outplayed...

 

To illustrate what omega-6 fatty acids can do when they are administered in the lab without sufficient quantities of protective molecules, just take a look at the following recent publication from UCLA:

 

Opposing effects of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on pancreatic cancer growth.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Opposing+effects+of+n-6+and+n-3+polyunsaturated+fatty+acids+on+pancreatic+cancer+growth.

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I understand that my source was referring to grain fed chickens.  I was comparing it to your grain fed chicken number "Eggs from grain fed chickens are very high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids, with an omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio of about 20-30 to 1. " which was quite different compared with the 15 to 1 of my source.

 

It seems like there are a number of factors here, and they don't seem to be well enough understood to easily incorporate these ideas into a diet.  A large variety of whole foods along with not eating what seems to make you sick, seems like a good approach for now.

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I understand that my source was referring to grain fed chickens.  I was comparing it to your grain fed chicken number "Eggs from grain fed chickens are very high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids, with an omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio of about 20-30 to 1. " which was quite different compared with the 15 to 1 of my source.

 

It seems like there are a number of factors here, and they don't seem to be well enough understood to easily incorporate these ideas into a diet.  A large variety of whole foods along with not eating what seems to make you sick, seems like a good approach for now.

I just expanded my post above with more detail, hopefully helping you to understand better what I think is going on here.  As far as the different numbers, 20-30 to 1 vs. 15 to 1, different studies can come up with different results.  The Greek egg study was about 1 to 1, and there is a big difference between 15 to 1 and 1 to 1.  Omega 3's do have protective effects against omega 6's, so eggs with a 1 to 1 ratio are effectively much more balanced.  Eggs with 15 to 1 ratios, on the other hand, are way out of balance.  Please let me know what you think.

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Food is digested into small particles in the digestive tract.  I don't think that your "physical difference on a molecular level" argument is valid.   Have you studied any biochemistry?  That would be helpful to your understanding here.

Yes, I have--I have studied biochemistry, and I have a BS with Honor from the California Institute of Technology.

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That's where I did my post doc.  Is your degree in biochemistry?  Are you telling me that the protective molecules are chemically bonded to the omega 6 fatty acids such that they are still in physical proximity after the digestion that takes place in the stomach?  What are these protective molecules called?

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That's where I did my post doc.  Is your degree in biochemistry?  Are you telling me that the protective molecules are chemically bonded to the omega 6 fatty acids such that they are still in physical proximity after the digestion that takes place in the stomach?  What are these protective molecules called?

My undergraduate degree is in biology.   As for protective molecules and physical proximity, I am basically referring to molecules and chemical reactions that most readily occur in a liquified medium.  Solid food (such as vegetables cooked in olive oil) needs to be digested, broken down, and liqufied in the stomach before it absorbed.  In my mind's eye, I visualize egg fats (omega 6's and omega 3's) being digested and coming in contact with (likely inflammed or previously damaged) mucusal epithelium or submucosa temporally close together.  Because of the temporal closeness, chemical reactions (inflammatory and anti-inflammatory) can be affected by the relative concentrations of the omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids (ie: a 15 to 1 ratio fosters the reactions promoted by the omega 6's).  For olives, the omega 6's and the protective molecules (phenols like hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein, as well as other molecules that have antioxidant activity) are also temporally digested at the same time because they are present in the same whole food.  For vegetables cooked in olive oil, the olive oil gets absorbed into and onto the vegetables, and the two are digested together.  For high omega 6 eggs and vegetables cooked in olive oil, the two foods (which together are effectively not one whole food) are not digested and absorbed simultaneously (ie: the omega 6's from the eggs and the protective molecules from the olive oil saturated vegetables) hit the mucosa and submucosa at different times and in different locations).  In addition, I would like to point out that because digested food is a mixture of solubilized molecules and undigestable fiber, I seriously doubt that all of the molecules in this mixture are evenly dispersed as one would expect if all constituents (including fiber) were solubilized and broken down into small molecules (ie: like sodium chloride in water).  

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Let me make sure that I understand.  If I cook eggs and vegetables in olive oil, the vegetables will absorb the oil and the two are digested together.  The eggs, also cooked in olive oil, do not absorb the oil and so do not digest together with the other parts.  I'm afraid that doesn't make any sense to me.  Why would eggs absorb oil less than vegetables?  Do you have some study which shows that?

 

The food goes into the stomach at the same time.  The stomach is an acidic environment filled with digestive enzymes and the food is broken up and churned around.  I can't see how it wouldn't be mixed together.

 

Did you do further formal study after your biology degree?

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Let me make sure that I understand.  If I cook eggs and vegetables in olive oil, the vegetables will absorb the oil and the two are digested together.  The eggs, also cooked in olive oil, do not absorb the oil and so do not digest together with the other parts.  I'm afraid that doesn't make any sense to me.  Why would eggs absorb oil less than vegetables?  Do you have some study which shows that?

 

The food goes into the stomach at the same time.  The stomach is an acidic environment filled with digestive enzymes and the food is broken up and churned around.  I can't see how it wouldn't be mixed together.

 

Did you do further formal study after your biology degree?

This is my hypothesis:  The protective molecules in the olive oil protect against the omega-6's in the olive oil; the vegetables have nothing that needs protecting against.  The omega 3's in eggs from grass fed chickens protect against omega 6's in these same eggs on a one to one basis.  The omega 3's in the eggs from grain fed chickens are markedly outnumbered by the omega 6's in these same eggs (15 to 1 according to the USDA study you brought to my attention).  The protective molecules in the olive oil do not protect against additional omega 6's in the eggs from grain fed chickens.

 

Regarding further formal study I have done, I would prefer for personal reasons not to go into that at the present time.  But I can assure you that my education and training beyond my undergraduate degree are quite solid.  On the other hand, if the citation of additional formal study might influence you to more seriously consider what I am proposing, I would strongly urge you to get the following book:  "Anti-Cancer:  A New Way of Life" by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., PhD.  The physician who wrote this book developed a relatively aggressive type of brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme) during his psychiatric residency, and went through surgery and chemotherapy only to have his tumor come back a few years later.  Faced with a poor prognosis, he then decided to use all the latest knowledge in nutritional research to devise a diet that could slow the growth of his tumor.  And he successfully went on for the next 10 years, living an active and productive life.  Quite remarkable in my book.  Reading his book was the first time I was exposed to the latest experimental research on omega-6 fatty acids.  And the interesting thing is that I have seen individuals with cancer or autoimmune diseases benefit from his recommendations.  On the other hand, I will be the first to admit that there is much that I still have to learn.  That being said, I suspect that with your scientific background, you know as well as I do that observation is frequently the first step in the process of making new discoveries.

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This is all very interesting.  Also interesting that the man died of Brain Cancer !!  Just to be up-front, I am a skeptic of miracle cancer treatments.

 

Colleen

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Nutrition is not my area of expertise.  I was wondering if it was yours.  Generally, I don't believe one person's ideas whether or not they are dealing with a very difficult disease.  I like to read the original research papers and see if it looks like the study was well done.  I like to look at the consensus of the experts in the field.  This idea of things not mixing in the stomach is one that I don't believe is widespread.  Why otherwise would we be advised to add flax seed and other supplements to our diets?  

 

It looks like Servan-Schreiber lead an exemplary life.  I hope that your interest in this man doesn't come from a cancer diagnosis.  I wish you the best.

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I heard an interview on the radio a few years back that this man did and he detailed his journey after diagnosis. He originally was from France, if I remember correctly. After receiving treatment for his cancer, he was visiting family back home in France, and one friend of his asked what he was doing to keep the cancer from coming back.  He told them of all the fancy treatments he was receiving back in the States but again, his friend asked what he was doing that would really help.  I guess this guy worked all the time and admitted his diet was not good. In other words, he was burning the candle at both ends, as far as his health was concerned.  This started his journey of learning about nutrition and learning better habits to help him in his fight against the cancer he had.

 

He mentioned nothing about eggs but just went on to say he started eating a much healthier diet, got more sleep and all those things you do when you are sick and trying to get well.  I did not know he had passed away but the cancer he had was pretty aggressive and I don't think better nutrition, more sleep and obsessing about fats in eggs would have helped him much. This type of cancer is usually fatal for the vast majority of people who have it, unfortunately.  

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Nutrition is not my area of expertise.  I was wondering if it was yours.  Generally, I don't believe one person's ideas whether or not they are dealing with a very difficult disease.  I like to read the original research papers and see if it looks like the study was well done.  I like to look at the consensus of the experts in the field.  This idea of things not mixing in the stomach is one that I don't believe is widespread.  Why otherwise would we be advised to add flax seed and other supplements to our diets?  

 

It looks like Servan-Schreiber lead an exemplary life.  I hope that your interest in this man doesn't come from a cancer diagnosis.  I wish you the best.

 

The research paper below from UCLA was one of the publications I referred to earlier.  If you have an open mind, I would be interested in hearing from you whether or not you think this study was well done:

 

 

Opposing effects of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on pancreatic cancer growth.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Opposing+effects+of+n-6+and+n-3+polyunsaturated+fatty+acids+on+pancreatic+cancer+growth.

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