What happens to your body when you drink raw eggs every day? Well, you probably won’t go on to take Apollo Creed 15 rounds, win the rematch that he swore you’d never get, and birth a boxing franchise that never seems to die. But you may still experience some serious health benefits by drinking raw eggs every day, whether you’re a prize fighter, bodybuilder, or just someone looking for a good source of protein.
Of course, even if you can get over the inherent grossness of drinking a glass full of raw eggs, there may also be some safety concerns as well. We’ve all heard the warnings about eating raw cookie dough, and the dangers from the salmonella in the eggs it contains. So, does it stand to reason that eating raw eggs for a month would pose the same danger? Or do the health benefits of all the protein and vitamins outweigh the risk? Read on for the answer to all of your burning egg questions. And for the last time, put away that cookie dough.
Your odds of getting salmonella are small if you drink raw eggs every day
The first thought that many people have when considering drinking a bunch of raw eggs is usually something along the lines of, “Sounds great (gross), but aren’t raw eggs full of harmful bacteria? Like the stuff that gives you food poisoning?” And, yes, according to the Centers for Disease Control, raw eggs can include salmonella, a germ that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps for four to seven days. Miserable as that sounds, however, the keyword here is “can.”
According to the American Egg Board (via SFGate), only about one in 20,000 eggs has salmonella in it — meaning you could drink five raw eggs a day for over ten years before you happened upon one. Still, if you’re concerned about minimizing your risk, the CDC suggests keeping your eggs refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder to ensure they don’t spoil. They also advise using pasteurized eggs if you’re planning to consume them raw.
If you drink raw eggs every day, you'll get a lot of protein and vitamins
Perhaps the first time many of us learned about the concept of drinking a bunch of raw eggs was watching Rocky Balboa down half a dozen of them before a run in the original Rocky. And the Italian Stallion is far from the only athlete or fitness professional to use raw eggs as a training supplement. Bodybuilders and others looking to pack on lean muscle routinely also drink raw eggs every day, mostly because they are so high in protein.
According to SFGate, each raw egg has about six grams of protein and one gram of carbohydrates. Beyond being a keto dieters dream, eggs are also incredibly high in vitamins. In one egg you’ll get half your recommended daily value of vitamin B12, 15 percent of your RDV of vitamins D and E, 15 percent of your daily folate and riboflavin, and 10 percent of your vitamin A. Plus you’ll get several minerals such as selenium, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
You may encounter biotin deficiency if you drink raw eggs every day
Though you may ingest bountiful vitamins and minerals if you drink raw eggs every day, it’s not all omelets and sunshine. According to Science Direct, consuming raw eggs for long periods of time can cause biotin deficiency. For those not up on the essential nutrients, biotin is a water-soluble vitamin in the B-vitamin family, and deficiency can cause decreased immune response, developmental problems in children, issues with seeing and hearing, and dry, scaly skin.
So why do raw eggs cause you to become deficient in biotin? Because raw eggs whites contain something called avidin, an antimicrobial protein that binds to biotin and keeps it from being absorbed into the body. The result is what’s called egg white injury syndrome, and it can cause everything from thinning hair to depression to eczematic rashes.
None of this is guaranteed, of course, and it doesn’t mean that drinking a glass of raw eggs every day is going to turn you into a balding, depressed person with perpetual rashes. But if you notice these types of symptoms beginning you may want to start filtering out the whites and just drink the egg yolks.
If you're male, your sperm count may go up if you drink raw eggs every day
If you’re trying to conceive, the extra energy and lean muscle you’ll get from raw egg protein and B vitamins theoretically should help the process along. But raw eggs can also be beneficial for more than just attempting to making children. According to some research, Drinking raw eggs every day can also help the sperm themselves move faster and with more virility, enhancing your chances of conception. Livestrong cited raw eggs’ high selenium content as a reason eating them might improve fertility, noting that each egg has 15.3 micrograms, more than a quarter of our recommended daily value. This is important as studies have repeatedly shown that increased selenium intake can greatly improve sperm motility.
Additionally, Livestrong suggested that the vitamin B12 content in raw eggs might also improve male fertility. It cited a University of Maryland study that showed a positive correlation between vitamin B12 intake and sperm motility, and pointed out that one large egg contained about one-sixth of your daily recommended value of B12. So a half dozen of them in a glass would give you all you need for the day.
If you drink raw eggs every day, your good cholesterol will go up
“Cholesterol” has become a kind of all-encompassing villain for heart disease, which is really only half correct. There are, in fact, two different kinds of cholesterol: High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL). And while the latter can be extremely harmful to your heart, the former is something you want to get a lot of. According to WebMD, eggs, both cooked and raw, are full of both kinds of cholesterol. WebMD also cites the Omega-3 fatty acids in eggs (or, more accurately, eggs from hens fed Omega-3 rich flax seeds) as equally important in promoting high levels of HDL cholesterol.
Perhaps the most intriguing study to this end comes from The Journal of Nutrition, where researchers gave 28 overweight or obese men high protein diets, some consuming three eggs a day and others consuming egg substitute. While both groups saw their levels of LDL cholesterol remain constant, the egg eating group saw an overall increase in HDL cholesterol. So eating eggs can increase HDL without increasing LDL significantly. The study didn’t specify whether the eggs were cooked or raw, but is encouraging nonetheless. Drink up, then!
Your skin and hair might look better if you drink raw eggs every day
Because eggs are so high in vitamins, consuming a bunch of them every day may make your hair, skin, and nails look considerably better. Medical News Today cited B-complex vitamins as among the most important for promoting healthy hair growth. But they also cited vitamin D as equally important, mentioning egg yolks as a valuable source of the oft-deficient vitamin. Vitamin E also made the list of hair-healthy vitamins, and one egg contains 15 percent of your recommended daily value.
Eggs, both raw and cooked, are also incredibly high in B-vitamins, which are especially beneficial for healthy skin. So drinking raw eggs every day will load you full of B-vitamins, which the Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, California cited as major factors in promoting skin health. Because B vitamins are vital in cell regeneration — and skin is constantly regenerating itself — drinking raw eggs may help skin properly regenerate.
If you drink raw eggs every day, you may feel more energetic
Remember when all those baseball players were getting accused of taking steroids, and many claimed all they were getting were big B12 shots? According to Jose Canseco’s book Juiced, B12 was actually clubhouse slang for steroids (via the New York Daily News).
Rest assured, however, as no PEDs can be found in your standard, store-bought eggs. Rather, you’ll find half your recommended daily value of vitamin B12 in just a single raw egg, and though it may not have you hitting 75 home runs in a season, it can give you a serious boost in energy; Healthline cited it as a major contributor to energy production in the body. Though they note that in 2008, Dr. Susan B. Shurin testified in front of Congress that it wouldn’t have much benefit to those who weren’t already deficient. Kinda makes you wonder why all those baseball players were taking B12 then, doesn’t it?
Another vitamin eggs have in abundance is riboflavin, or vitamin B2, which according to the National Institutes of Health has two major enzymes that are critical in energy production, as well as processing fats, drugs, and steroids.
Make sure you're drinking only pasteurized eggs every day
Though we’ve laid out a lot of the benefits of drinking raw eggs every day, one thing is especially important to remember: if you’re going to start each day by cracking some eggs over a glass and chugging a bunch of yolks, make sure the eggs are pasteurized. While it’s true that only about one in 20,000 eggs is going to have salmonella (via SFGate), that means there’s still a chance the raw egg you’re eating has it. Shine365 suggests cooking eggs for a variety of reasons, including better availability of nutrients, but if you are going to go raw, the site suggests opting for pasteurized eggs, which are heated to limit bacterial infection.
To further drive the point home, the Centers for Disease Control also suggest consuming pasteurized eggs if you’re going to opt for raw. Ultimately, the risk is yours to run, but there’s no sense in undoing all the healthy benefits because of one bad egg.
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