Egg Yolks Aren't All Bad

Antioxidants found in egg yolk may reduce heart disease and cancer risks

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Egg whites are known to be the healthy part of an egg, while egg yolks are often discarded because they seem to lack nutritional value and increase risk for diseases. This may not be completely true.

Nutritional scientists have found quite the opposite case with egg yolks. This "evil" yellow gooey center may have more healing or disease-preventing power than previously believed. Egg yolks have antioxidants that can fight heart disease and cancer.

"Eating eggs for breakfast is good for you."

Jianping Wu, a professor from the University of Alberta in Canada, found that egg yolks contain large amounts of two specific amino acids -- tryptophan and tyrosine -- that have high antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants can be found in many fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods and even red meat and chicken. They can help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Wu and colleagues found that raw egg yolks contain double the antioxidant properties found in apples and about the same as half a serving, about 25 grams, of cranberries. When fried, boiled or cooked in the microwave, they lose some antioxidant properties, but the amount that remains is still about the same as that of an apple.

Even more impressive, Wu found that egg yolks may not be increasing blood pressure at all -- even with the high cholesterol content. Based on his previous research, Wu theorizes that egg yolks may work the same way as drugs that lower high blood pressure.

This study opens the door for more research on egg yolks to see if there are more antioxidant properties that may be beneficial says Wu.

The research is published in the journal Food Chemistry.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 8, 2011
Last Updated:
July 11, 2011