Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Eggs, food colourings, and food chemicals

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Lutein was traditionally used in chicken feed to provide the yellow color of broiler chicken skin. Polled consumers viewed yellow chicken skin more favorably than white chicken skin. Such lutein fortification also results in a darker yellow egg yolk. Today the coloring of the egg yolk has become the primary reason for feed fortification. Wikipedia

Beta carotene, or xanthophyll ­ both are natural plant pigments. When hens are able to eat green plant material or yellow corn (factory farm hens are sometimes fed yellow dye to color the yolks), the beta carotene concentrates in the yolk making it dark ­ sometimes even orange. Eating red peppers makes yolks red, and some plants can make the yolks green or even black. Farm fresh eggs

Capsanthin, found in paprika extract, is a red to orange coloured spice derived from the pods and seeds of the red pepper (Capsicum annuum). Paprika extract also contains capsanthin. Capsanthin may be added to poultry feed to enhance egg yolk colour. […] Quinoline yellow is a synthetic ‘coal tar’ dye, prepared by sulfonating 2-(2-quinolyl) indan-1,3-Quinoline Yellowdione, and the product is essentially sodium salts of a mixture of disulfonates, monosulfonates and trisulfonates of the dione. The calcium and potassium salts may also be permitted. Quinoline Yellow is used to give a yellow to greenish yellow colour. May induce an allergic reaction. Typical products include ice lollies, scotch eggs, smoked fish. Food colourings

Tartrazine, a dye made from coal tar, is banned in Norway, Finland and Austria. As well as being used in a variety of cakes, soft drinks and sauces, some egg manufacturers feed it to their chickens to make their yolks extra yellow. But scientists believe it can cause blurred vision and purple skin patches and is particularly hazardous for asthmatics and anyone allergic to aspirin. The Guardian

Is it any wonder so many kids these days are “allergic to eggs” when they are (legally and illegally) pumped full of these yellow dyes?

Even lutein, a natural carotinoid, appears to trigger reactions in some people. No physical use for lutein has been identified in the body, apart from in the eyes. It accumulates in the eyes, leading to speculation that it is there to protect the eyes from UV radiation. This has an interesting connection to the eye colour changes I mentioned.

Eggs, particularly eggs that have been sat around on the shelf, also contain small amounts of natural histamine which can trigger a pseudo-allergic response. Undercooked egg whites can cause histamine degranulation. This response does not indicate a genuine allergic reaction to the eggs, but is simply caused by the histamine, which has an inflammatory effect. Eggs are also sources of free thiols (sulphur), to which some people react.

Eggs from chickens that have not been artificially fed and have been allowed to graze on pasture and insects will have deep yellow yolks because of beta-carotene content. Beta-carotene content is a good indicator of vitamin A content. The yellower the better, if the colouring is real. If you are sensitive enough that you identify a genuine reaction to lutein or sulphur, however, avoid eggs.


Written by alienrobotgirl

8 March, 2006 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Failsafe Foods

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