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September 22, 1917

THE OBJECTIONS TO RAW EGGS IN THE DIET

JAMA. 1917;LXIX(12):1006-1007. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590390056018
Abstract

In the classic experiments on digestion in the human stomach which Dr. William Beaumont conducted nearly a century ago on Alexis St. Martin, the patient with a gastric fistula, it was noted that native egg white leaves the stomach very rapidly in comparison with other foods, including cooked egg white itself. This observation has repeatedly been confirmed in experiments on animals, and is doubtless correct. It is furthermore the presumable basis for the widespread impression that raw eggs are very easily digested, "inasmuch as they are 'chymified' in one and a half to two hours as against three for soft-boiled eggs."

Experiments conducted in vitro with raw egg white have demonstrated that this mixture of proteins is notably resistant to the digestive action of the gastric enzyme, pepsin, and likewise exhibits conspicuous antitryptic power. These are properties indicating sufficient obstacles to digestion in the case of the native product to

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