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"Omega 3" Eggs, lower in O6 or just higher in 03?

by (50)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:13 PM
Created May 16, 2010 at 8:35 PM

I am refering to eggs of hens who has had fish meal supplemented in their food. Used to look upon it as a pretty unnatural way for hens to get their O3, but after moving and not having access to a quality pastured eggs anymore, I find myself looking upon it as a alternative. I was quite impressed with the first dozen I bough; nice big orange yolks, sturdy shells, good taste.

The O3 content obviously improves greatly with this feeding regime, but my question is; does the O6 content change? The ratio is surely more favorable regardless, but for someone who is really keeping a eye on their O6 intake due to inflammatory issues, does it change?

I realize that this differs depending on many variables; amount of fish meal added, feed in regular, lifestyle factors etc, but any general reflections/inputs would be highly appreciated!

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3280 · December 16, 2012 at 3:00 AM

And to answer your question, you can check out http://www.eatwild.com/ for farmers local to you. :)

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3280 · December 16, 2012 at 2:59 AM

True, but you can ask what grains -- the eggs I was getting from Mission Mountain on the west coast were corn and soy free. They got wheat, barley, and peas, and no GMO. My current farmer gives her ducks kitchen scraps. Always ask! Farmers who love what they do love to talk about their livestock.

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3280 · December 16, 2012 at 2:57 AM

Omg!!!! KITCHEN SCRAPS. not chicken scraps. Thanks iPhone!!

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3280 · December 16, 2012 at 2:55 AM

True, but you can ask what grains -- the eggs I was getting from Mission Mountain on the west coast were corn and soy free. They got wheat, barley, and peas, and no GMO. My current farmer gives her ducks chicken scraps. Always ask! Farmers who love what they do love to talk about their livestock.

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50 · May 19, 2010 at 8:47 PM

I totally agree with you on your definition of a real egg, and what the ideal circumstances lay. I would however argue that there are omega3 enriched eggs, by definition, as the content does indeed go up greatly when supplemented with fishmeal. The question in the original post was if the omega 6 content also increased, which is what is being discussed, and Jay for example provided a very interesting study which I thank him greatly for. On another note, could argue that you are better off without eggs if they are not pastured, but that's a different discussion.

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50 · May 17, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Looks golden. Not residing in the states though, so can't act on it myself. Good tips though!

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1219 · May 17, 2010 at 6:42 PM

I found the solution -- Tropical Traditions soy-free omega 3 eggs. They are fed coconut and deep sea fish meal.

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50 · May 17, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Thanks for that paper! Will read through it fully later tonight. I'm going to try contacting the producerand find out how the feeding regime actually looks like.

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373 · May 17, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Well, I meant to us.

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1219 · May 17, 2010 at 3:15 PM

The paper I posted shows this isn't true, at least if the chickens are fed a high soy diet along with their omega 3s. Even flax has quite a bit of omega 6.

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1219 · May 17, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Most pastured chickens are supplemented with grains anyway.

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19220 · May 17, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Grains arn't poisonous to chickens.

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373 · May 17, 2010 at 4:47 AM

I don't think wheat : humans is the equivalent of fish : chickens. Chickens will eat anything (including each other), and grains are poisonous.

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1693 · May 17, 2010 at 1:42 AM

The only place I've been able to find 100% cage free, eats whatever it can find, is from local farmers. Everything else has been labeled with the typical "organic", "cage free", "omega 3 enhanced" BS labels.

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116 · May 17, 2010 at 12:30 AM

It really depends on how much soy they get. More soy = more omega 6. Some omega 3 eggs on the market have much more omega 6 than regular eggs.

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8 Answers

4a1512c822f4698855f126e16236668a
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116 · May 17, 2010 at 12:28 AM

I've spent a great deal of time researching this. It depends on what kind of omega 3 eggs you buy. Brands that are based on a high soy diet in addition to sources of omega 3 (fish meal or flax) will have more linoleic acid (short chain omega 6) than regular eggs. In fact, regular organic eggs are probably better than these types of omega 3 eggs (for people that seek out other sources of omega 3s, like fish oil). Country Hen eggs sold in Whole Foods, are an example of this type of high linoleic acid omega 3 egg. They are actually analyzed in this paper and have more linoleic acid than any of the other types of eggs studied. If you can find truly pastured eggs, that's the best in my opinion. If not, try to find ones that aren't fed so much soy!

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50 · May 17, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Looks golden. Not residing in the states though, so can't act on it myself. Good tips though!

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356
1219 · May 17, 2010 at 6:42 PM

I found the solution -- Tropical Traditions soy-free omega 3 eggs. They are fed coconut and deep sea fish meal.

256225f972a969fec4abe70baedfc3d8
50 · May 17, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Thanks for that paper! Will read through it fully later tonight. I'm going to try contacting the producerand find out how the feeding regime actually looks like.

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2409 · May 17, 2010 at 12:29 PM

From a label of Omega 3 enriched eggs that are available in my country :

kCal: 143

Protein: 12,5 g

Carbohydrates/sugar:0,7/0,7

Fat: 10 g

Saturated: 3 g

Mono: 4 g

Poly: 3 g

Omega 6: 1.2 g

Omega 3: 1.2 g

"Normal" egg (via Nutrition data) has 1.2 of Omega 6 and 0.07 of Omega 3

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754 · May 17, 2010 at 1:31 AM

the thing that drives me crazy is I can't find any eggs that aren't labeled 100% vegetarian feed, as though feeding an omnivore a crippled diet is a selling point.

Where do you find eggs from chickens that actually were allowed to eat bugs?

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc
3280 · December 16, 2012 at 3:00 AM

And to answer your question, you can check out http://www.eatwild.com/ for farmers local to you. :)

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc
3280 · December 16, 2012 at 2:59 AM

True, but you can ask what grains -- the eggs I was getting from Mission Mountain on the west coast were corn and soy free. They got wheat, barley, and peas, and no GMO. My current farmer gives her ducks kitchen scraps. Always ask! Farmers who love what they do love to talk about their livestock.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc
3280 · December 16, 2012 at 2:57 AM

Omg!!!! KITCHEN SCRAPS. not chicken scraps. Thanks iPhone!!

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc
3280 · December 16, 2012 at 2:55 AM

True, but you can ask what grains -- the eggs I was getting from Mission Mountain on the west coast were corn and soy free. They got wheat, barley, and peas, and no GMO. My current farmer gives her ducks chicken scraps. Always ask! Farmers who love what they do love to talk about their livestock.

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1219 · May 17, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Most pastured chickens are supplemented with grains anyway.

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1693 · May 17, 2010 at 1:42 AM

The only place I've been able to find 100% cage free, eats whatever it can find, is from local farmers. Everything else has been labeled with the typical "organic", "cage free", "omega 3 enhanced" BS labels.

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1693 · May 16, 2010 at 10:02 PM

Great question to be honest. I've seen these eggs show up in Publix/Walmart/Fresh Market etc. Which makes me start to really question how much Omega 3 really is there, as well if they are just trying to ride the "omega 3" bandwagon into Profit City.

But, my educated guess is that the O6 content DOES NOT change with these eggs. They are probably simply, as you mentioned, given access to fish meal while still eating an all "natural, vegetarian diet" aka grain.

If you cannot get access to 100% Pastured eggs, I'd either get these or search about for any other cage free alternative.

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116 · May 17, 2010 at 12:30 AM

It really depends on how much soy they get. More soy = more omega 6. Some omega 3 eggs on the market have much more omega 6 than regular eggs.

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571 · December 16, 2012 at 1:50 AM

I read somewhere that the chickens which produce omega-3 eggs are forcefed flaxseed, not something they would normally eat. So what kind of eggs should I be looking for? I do a lot of shopping at Trader Joe's since I don't have access to farmer's markets and such.

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4625 · May 18, 2010 at 1:42 AM

There is no such thing as an enriched Om3 egg- its a scam. Unless it is TRULY coop-free during the day- it is feeding solely on corn and whatever as the "farmer" is setting in the bucket, instead of pecking at grass and crickets and such.

rest of post removed since it was not answering the original question as noted below.

EAT ONLY REAL FOOD AND MUCH OF PALEO BENEFITS FALL INTO PLACE

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50 · May 19, 2010 at 8:47 PM

I totally agree with you on your definition of a real egg, and what the ideal circumstances lay. I would however argue that there are omega3 enriched eggs, by definition, as the content does indeed go up greatly when supplemented with fishmeal. The question in the original post was if the omega 6 content also increased, which is what is being discussed, and Jay for example provided a very interesting study which I thank him greatly for. On another note, could argue that you are better off without eggs if they are not pastured, but that's a different discussion.

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4089 · May 17, 2010 at 1:03 AM

I'd be inclined to think that the safest route is to only buy these if a) you absolutely need eggs and b) you can't get real free range organic ones locally (not the certified "organic" ones you get at the major chains).

Quite aside from the nutritional issues raised in the other answers, if they're getting fish oil to top of their factory farm diet of corn and who-knows what they're a) really not terrifically Paleo, b) probably not that much healthier, and c) contributing to fish stock depletion.

Chickens didn't evolve to eat fish, just like we didn't evolve eating wheat. I certainly wouldn't eat a human fed a SAD diet ;).

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373 · May 17, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Well, I meant to us.

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19220 · May 17, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Grains arn't poisonous to chickens.

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373 · May 17, 2010 at 4:47 AM

I don't think wheat : humans is the equivalent of fish : chickens. Chickens will eat anything (including each other), and grains are poisonous.

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373 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

I recall KGH saying in a comment that they (eggs or pork or something) have the same amount of n-6, just less n-3. It's a bit difficult to search for, so I can't find it.

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1219 · May 17, 2010 at 3:15 PM

The paper I posted shows this isn't true, at least if the chickens are fed a high soy diet along with their omega 3s. Even flax has quite a bit of omega 6.

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