How healthy is the consumption of eggs, raw or not? While it is generally considered to be a highly nutritious food, it is also the subject of controversy as to the threats posed by overconsumption, and by eating raw eggs.
Raw eggs once used to be a thing: it was generally thought that they were good for health. However, the arguments against this concept have been accruing over the years. One of the main reasons not to eat raw eggs is the entailed risk of salmonella infection.
A study published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice mentions how a Salmonella outbreak resulted from consuming pie made with raw egg shells. In spite of the advice published relating to the threats of eating raw eggs, the practice still persists, says a study published in Scottish medical journal; body builders were documented to have suffered from Salmonella enteritidis infection in this research.
Other research suggests that eating them can inhibit the absorption of vitamin H (biotin) which is needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats, and also for the strengthening of hair and nails. This happens because an egg white protein called avidin interferes with the absorption of the vitamin.
However, egg is deemed to be a good source of nutrients, from protein and fats to micronutrients; it contains 18 vitamins and minerals. It is an undeniable fact that eggs contain protein, and that protein is essential to body functions. Egg is described as having a “protein of excellent quality“. Furthermore, it contains vitamin B-12 needed for the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and protein, as well as for the protection of blood and nerve cells. It also consists of folate which is often recommended to pregnant women in the form of supplements. The egg can be specially useful to pregnant women, and other groups of people who might face a risk of low-nutrient intake like the elderly.
Other nutrients include calcium (needed for the strength of bones), selenium (to make antioxidant enzymes known as selenoproteins), iron, copper, and zinc. A review published in the journal Nutrients last year (2015) mentions that promoting eggs as functional foods should be taken into account as they contain nutrients that are fundamentally important to us.
Another benefit is that eggs provide broad culinary choices, and the fact that they are generally cheap make of them the ideal in many households.
However, the egg is also rich in cholesterol, which has led researchers to be cautious about recommending the food to people. Experts have, thus, often wanted against over-consuming eggs. However, thankfully, other research that has followed claims that cholesterol from eggs has restricted effects on the cholesterol level in the blood; this was mentioned in a review published in the journal Nutrients in 2013 entitled “Nutritional recommendations for cardiovascular disease prevention“.