What About Eggs?

What About Eggs? | The Paleo Diet


I heard Dr. Cordain speak twice in optometry meetings. He understood everything about his diet, but both times, I left with the same question in my head: what about eggs?

SO if you could please pass it on to him, I would appreciate it. Because eggs are a source of lutein which is very bioavailable and because lutein is extremely important in ocular health, I would like to know what his opinion is on that.


Maelán Fontes’ Response:

Dear Barbara,

Eggs are part of The Paleo Diet, as humans have consumed eggs during the paleolithic era, although not in a year round basis (because bird eggs appear only seasonally), hence Dr. Cordain has advocated eggs, specially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, in his three books. One of the egg white functions is to protect the yolk against microbal attack using proteolytic enzymes, besides being storage of nutrients for the growing embryo and transport of nutrients into the growing embryo. Except for ovoalbumen, most of the proteins in egg white have antimicrobial, antibacterial or antiviral activity, some of these proteins are called ovomucoid, ovomucin and lysozyme, among others. These proteins may disrupt the integrity of the gut lining leading to increased intestinal permeability and lysozyme is the most harmful of these proteins in terms of membranolytic activity (breakdown of cell membranes). We recommend that patients suffering from autoimmune diseases to avoid egg white at the beginning as Lysozyme may increase intestinal permeability which is one of the contributing factors in autoimmune diseases. Another issue is egg allergy which is quite common.

On the other hand, eggs are rich in selenium, vitamin A, vitamin D and the B vitamins, and some minerals.

If the person does not suffer from autoimmune disease or egg allergy it shouldn’t be a problem to eat eggs.

I hope this helps.

Maelán Fontes MS Ph.D. candidate in Medical Sciences at Lund University, Sweden

About The Paleo Diet Team

The Paleo Diet TeamThe Paleo Diet, the world’s healthiest diet, is based upon the fundamental concept that the optimal diet is the one to which we are genetically adapted. The therapeutic effect of The Paleo Diet is supported by both randomized controlled human trials and real-life success stories.

Comments to this website are moderated by our editorial board. For approval, comments need to be relevant to the article and free of profanities and personal attacks. We encourage cordial debates for the betterment of understanding and discovery. Comments that advertise or promote a business will also not be approved, however, links to relevant blog posts that follow the aforementioned criteria will be allowed. Thank you.

“4” Comments

  1. Pingback: Nutrient Deficiencies and Supplementation | The Paleo Diet : The Paleo Diet™

  2. Pingback: Potassium-Rich Foods in The Paleo Diet | Dr. Loren Cordain : The Paleo Diet™

  3. Pingback: Lysozyme Clarification |The Paleo Diet | Dr. Loren Cordain : The Paleo Diet™

  4. Having read your book last year, and reading your emails… my head spins! As we joke in the IT world often, TMI. To much information! Might I respectfully suggest for us neanderthals, with limited time and knowledge of enzymes, acids, ovalbumin, lysozyme, et al… something along the lines of “Eat this.. not that.” We trust what your saying already, and can go research it more if desired. But the bottom line is simple.. what does our body good, what does our body bad. Seriously, how about a detailed “cheat sheet” for when we go shopping or eating out? Maybe along the lines of a bad, ok, better, best? You could write it.. laminate it like a tourist map, and even make a buck for your efforts. 😉

    • No!!

      I would so much rather know why something is ‘good/bad’ for me than to just be told what to eat and not eat. If I’m going to abide by a strict diet, I want to know why it is I should be weary of certain foods and not others. As someone who is trying to help my husband heal with several autoimmune diseases, we definitely find it so much more beneficial to know the science behind foods and why they might be an issue for him. It’s also better to know these types of things for when we’re challenged by ‘non believers ‘ about the validity of our diet.

      I appreciate that some people would much rather have a clear cut, no fuss, no muss diet, but I come to Dr. Cordain’s website to hear the mumbo jumbo science behind eating eggs.

  5. Posted on behalf of Dr. Cordain:Hi,Lysozyme is heat stable in acidic solutions (ergo the intestinal tract), having been reported to withstand 100 degrees C with little loss of activity (1). Matsuoka et al. (2) reported lysozyme to be stable in acidic solution (pH 4.5, 100 degree C for 3 min; pH 5.29, 100 degree C, 30 min. So yes indeed lysozyme would survive any normal cooking procedures used for eggs. My recommendation would be for people with egg allergies or autoimmune diseases to not consume egg whites for a few weeks or months and then to gradually add them back into their diet and closely monitor symptoms. Until randomized controlled trials are conducted in regard to egg whites and autoimmune disease, the jury will still be out from an objective, factual basis. Consequently, anecdotal elimination diets on a person to person basis will be the best bet for now.References1. Proctor VA, Cunningham FE. The chemistry of lysozyme and its use as a food preservative and a pharmaceutical. CRC Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1988;26:359-395.2. Matsuoka Y, Hidaka Y, Yashima M. Japanese Patent 41-150, 1966.Cordially,Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Affiliates and Credentials