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July 22, 2014

Experts' Experts: Is eating eggshells good for you?

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C. Claiborne Ray's June 30, 2014 New York Times Q&A feature addressed the subject as follows.

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Q. I often include about half of one eggshell in the cup with my soft-boiled breakfast egg. Is eating it good for my health or bad?

A. Crunching coarse bits of eggshell will probably not make much difference in meeting your nutritional needs, but scientific studies have reported that powdered eggshells can be a useful source of dietary calcium.

2003 review article in The International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research said that human and animal studies had found that a preparation of ground eggshells was a natural source of calcium and other elements, like strontium and fluorine.

"The bioavailability of calcium from this source, as tested in piglets, was similar or better than that of food-grade purified calcium carbonate," the authors wrote.

In postmenopausal women and women with senile osteoporosis, the authors said, the powder reduced pain and bone loss and either increased mobility and bone density or halted its loss.

An Argentine study published last year in The International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition found that the shell of a single chicken egg contained about two grams of calcium, roughly twice the average daily adult requirement. The researchers also found that eggshell powder prepared at home could be added to other foods, like bread, pizza or spaghetti, with no change in flavor and only minor changes in texture.

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[Times graphic up top by Victoria Roberts]

July 22, 2014 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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