Do You Know Nutrition: Egg shell membrane a rich source of calcium

By Phylis Canion
July 3, 2012 at 2:03 a.m.

What exactly is eggshell membrane and is there any truth to using eggshell membrane for joint pain?

Eggshell is made almost entirely (about 97 percent) of calcium carbonate crystals. It is a semipermeable membrane that allows air and moisture to pass through as many as 17,000 pores.

The shell has a thin outermost coating called the bloom that keeps out dust and bacteria. Just inside the hard shell are two membranes known as the inner and outer shell membranes that surround the albumen, the egg white. These two membranes provide defense against bacterial invasion and are made partly of keratin.

The outer membrane sticks to the eggshell while the inner membrane sticks to the albumen. Eggshell membrane is the richest source of natural glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, collagen and calcium, constituents needed to rebuild cartilage and connective tissue.

According an article in the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging in 2009, about 140 million adults in the United States, may have a joint or connective tissue disorder. The article states that two open-label pilot studies results showed that taking 500 milligrams of natural eggshell membrane supplements, once daily, decreased joint pain.

In a similar article published in Clinical Rheumatology, the study found that natural eggshell membrane supplements were effective for reducing pain and stiffness in the knee from osteoarthritis. Researchers stated that natural eggshell membrane supplements are safe, although egg allergy must be taken into consideration.

Reaction to eating eggs, if you are sensitive, varies greatly but the most common reaction is hives. Other reactions may include nausea, chest tightness, inflammation, cramps, coughing and shortness of breath. And as I always recommend, be sure to visit with your physician before taking any supplements.

Thought for the week: Your attitude determines your future.

The next free nutrition class will be at 7 p.m. July 9 at Organic Emporium, 2918 N. Laurent St.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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