6

votes

Is Butter Safe?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

My wife described my Paleo/bulletproof diet to her Harvard trained epidemiologist friend who knows and even teaches about the Paleo diet. This epidemiologist, while having a generally positive view of Paleo, thought it was destructive to consume large amounts of butter. Does anyone know of any studies which contradicts this view?

Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02

(295)

on May 25, 2012
at 02:48 AM

I would start asking people to backup their claims with references (e.g. get the epidemiologist to get you a list of studies) that you can go over. Getting you to do all of the work is unreasonable unless you are trying to impose your ideas on some else. In this case, how much is "large amounts of butter?" What convincing random controlled human trials have tested this? What were the endpoints? What are the proposed mechanisms? When anyone assumes authority over an area and imposes their authority on others, details matter.

627cf3f5d1ddfb4c2f4c96169420f55f

(1626)

on May 24, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Loren Cordain is no longer against Saturated fat.

27361737e33ba2f73ab3c25d2699ad61

(1880)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:41 PM

Dave -- love your web site. How would butter from goat or sheep milk stack up against grass fed cow butter? I have concerns about bovine IGF-1 being a match to human whereas that of other ruminants is not . I have no idea how muchIGF-1 is concentrated in butter, if at all.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 02:36 PM

This is most of you guys right now: http://i.imgur.com/wnDYF.jpg

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:09 PM

I just stick with Ghee myself.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on May 24, 2012
at 08:11 AM

November, I suspect you are confusing allergic with intolerant. Personally, I'm unconvinced most people can't handle the casein and lactose in butter, though some people definitely report sensitivity. The debate rages on.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 24, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Oh I'm swooning at Kasra's Paleohacks Points! lol. Maybe I would have as many if I wasn't so blunt with people? lol

D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

(823)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:33 AM

a LOT of people are allergic to lactose and casein.

1398eff69b192c35de5e0dbaad59052a

(2024)

on May 24, 2012
at 03:33 AM

What does that link have to do with butter or meat lobbies?

1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:59 AM

LOL jesus christ Kasra.. You made my heart stop with that post.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Guys, seriously, look at how many Paleohacks Points I have. I clearly would understand the foudational tenets of the philosophy this site is about.

4de2c59d682664a54cfcd4f0979e1115

on May 24, 2012
at 01:17 AM

Increase in life expectancy over the past century is largely due to vaccination programs -- fewer children are dying, which brings up the average age.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:06 AM

And our life expectancy increased by 29 years in that same time.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:06 AM

And look at what happened to our life expectancy in those 100 years. U.S. Life Expectancy 1910 : about 50 years. U.S. Life Expectancy 2010 : about 79 years.

A190543468586aa445265c8165e254e2

(80)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:37 AM

Omg. How did the human species survive until procter & gamble invented Crisco 100 years ago??? http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/how-vegetable-oils-replaced-animal-fats-in-the-american-diet/256155/

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:25 AM

Lol because lactose and casein are such terrible substances.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:10 AM

I had a conversation with someone today about this. I would agree that consuming 'large amounts' of butter is harmful. Really depends what he classifies and you classify as large amounts. Personally, I don't eat much butte except when I really feel like having some. In that case I could eat up to 4 tbsp in one meal. If I took a guess at what would be too much, maybe half a stick/day every day? In a lot of cake/cookie recipes it calls for 2 sticks of butter, and I could eat all the cookies in one go, so maybe we eat less butter than we think anyway?

723519573be05b5edeb0659025b2fcd2

(306)

on May 23, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Thanks! This is great.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:53 PM

Butter does taste amazing and it is probably good blended in coffee if you're a coffee drinker, so if it didn't have the downsides of estrogen, igf-1, and displacing a load of other calories from other healthy food sources, I'd be all over it, probably.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 23, 2012
at 10:51 PM

Well, i know butter carries a lot of hormones and the two I don't want to be ingesting especially are estrogen and IGF-1. There is no greater source of exogenous estrogen in the human diet then that which comes from cows milk. I don't want to risk man boobs or water retention or any of the other things that come along with such a hormonal imbalance. Small amounts of butter or cream on occasion I'm okay with. But everyday, let alone a half a stick or a whole stick a day, no thank you. Just my personal opinion. So it doesn't matter I guess. If it is working for whatever your goals...

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9 Answers

best answer

6
4de2c59d682664a54cfcd4f0979e1115

on May 23, 2012
at 11:04 PM

There's still a lot of anti-saturated fat dogma out there, even among the paleo community (cough cough Loren Cordain cough cough). I think this must stem from the flawed research done in the 50's by Ancel Keyes, et al "showing" diets high in saturated fat correlated with higher incidence of heart disease. I use the quotes because the studies back then lumped saturated fat and partially hydrogenated trans fat into the same category; we know today there is a HUGE difference, but still the nutritional dogma reigns supreme.

ETA: Influence of Dairy Product and Milk Fat Consumption on Cardiovascular Disease Risk: A Review of the Evidence http://advances.nutrition.org/content/3/3/266.abstract

The findings indicate that the majority of observational studies have failed to find an association between the intake of dairy products and increased risk of CVD, coronary heart disease, and stroke, regardless of milk fat levels.

Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract

A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.

723519573be05b5edeb0659025b2fcd2

(306)

on May 23, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Thanks! This is great.

627cf3f5d1ddfb4c2f4c96169420f55f

(1626)

on May 24, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Loren Cordain is no longer against Saturated fat.

9
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:13 AM

In this post about dairy fat, Stephan Guyenet had an apt aphorism:

"The fat is where the vitamins A, K2, E and D are. The fat is where the medium-chain triglycerides, butyric acid and omega-3 fatty acids are. The fat is where the conjugated linoleic acid is. So the next time someone admonishes you to reduce your dairy fat intake, what are you going to tell them??"

I do think pastured butter will be ways better than regular butter and that distinction should be made. But I think both will healthy for most people (though perhaps not every living person on the planet). Anyways, in addition to the study cited by Stephan (about how "People who ate the most full-fat dairy had a 69% lower risk of cardiovascular death than those who ate the least"), here are some studies I found:

  1. This study, written about by Stephan here, discusses how "dairy fat may protect against diabetes".
  2. "The findings indicate that the majority of observational studies have failed to find an association between the intake of dairy products and increased risk of CVD, coronary heart disease, and stroke, regardless of milk fat levels".
  3. Rats fed a high butter diet don't develop fatty liver disease, fed corn oil they do.
  4. From this double blind randomized trial: "We conclude that an acute increase in the content of SFAs (tested with butter-Mscott)within a high-lipid bolus had no adverse effect on postprandial circulation of the adipose-related factors adiponectin, IL-6, TNF-??, or hs-CRP??? and ???TNF-?? decreased on the high saturated:unsaturated fatty acid treatment???.
  5. High fat dairy foods are associated with decreased colorectal cancer risk in Sweden.
  6. According to the RF Grimble, the coauthor of this study "???Feeding rats on fish oil, coconut oil or butter (but not corn oil-Mscott) for 8 weeks greatly reduced the anorexia experienced following an injection of TNF???.
  7. While discussing another study he coauthored, RF Grimble stated: ???Diets containing butter at 100 g/kg suppressed a wide range of responses to LPS". LPS, aka endotoxin, is bad newz.
  8. In Indians, replacing mustard oil with ghee doesn't increase cholesterol (HDL increased, though insignificantly.
  9. Dairy fat rich in CLA and VA decreases asthma in mice.

4
E45254f32389b6f8f56f1d7f335e616c

on May 24, 2012
at 05:05 AM

Lots of people think coconut oil has cholesterol in it too - it's just people who are misinformed. When people had a lot less chronic illness, the average per capita consumption was 16 lbs/person/year, and more for people who could afford it.

The Bulletproof Diet includes Bulletproof Coffee, which is grass fed butter or ghee blended with low-toxin coffee and MCT oil. People who use it feel AWESOME and tend to lose a lot of weight if they need to.

I gave a talk at the last BIL Conference about butter, focusing on butyrate and its effects on brain inflammation, blood chemistry (cholesterol normalization), and weight loss. Pretty amazing info out there. Haven't posted the video yet but it's on the way on www.bulletproofexec.com.

Ask for evidence that butter is "destructive" - I didn't find anything convincing. It's the highest nutrition part of milk - in fact, I don't touch milk or cheese, just butter or even better, ghee, from grass fed cows. That stuff is rocket fuel.

27361737e33ba2f73ab3c25d2699ad61

(1880)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:41 PM

Dave -- love your web site. How would butter from goat or sheep milk stack up against grass fed cow butter? I have concerns about bovine IGF-1 being a match to human whereas that of other ruminants is not . I have no idea how muchIGF-1 is concentrated in butter, if at all.

2
627cf3f5d1ddfb4c2f4c96169420f55f

on May 23, 2012
at 10:45 PM

Yes butter is safe for just about every single human being living on this planet.

It's very low in both lactose and casein. Loaded with heart healthy saturated fat. Great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K2 and others.

When I cook with a fat, my preferred choice is butter. I'll also throw it on just about anything.

It will make liver taste ok too.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:25 AM

Lol because lactose and casein are such terrible substances.

D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

(823)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:33 AM

a LOT of people are allergic to lactose and casein.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on May 24, 2012
at 08:11 AM

November, I suspect you are confusing allergic with intolerant. Personally, I'm unconvinced most people can't handle the casein and lactose in butter, though some people definitely report sensitivity. The debate rages on.

1
4c197bf333480ae7c349acddb781cb40

on May 23, 2012
at 11:30 PM

My nutritionist,says toeat butter every day to prevent Alzheimer's , the brain loves butter!

1
0c7f775f91e951f8e1f6e07782a54f46

on May 23, 2012
at 10:42 PM

Does those Harvard trained epidemiologist know one that's saying it is destructive? :)

0
755e45ce5185e1281c3ffffbd853ed36

on October 15, 2012
at 04:59 AM

I don't know what to think anymore. I sure like my low carb (<100/day) diet, but I still can't imagine eating so much butter. Maybe I'm brainwashed from 40 years of high carb low fat info. Anyone else out there confused and skeptical of all studies?

0
34cf7065a6c94062c711eb16c0f6adc3

on May 24, 2012
at 01:30 AM

Actually Butter should be healthier than Tallow (both come from cows). It has much higher concentrations of short and medium chain fatty acids, the reason why it stays liquid at lower temperatures than Tallow. It is known that both short and medium chain fatty acids have a lot of benefits. SCFA are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and reduce stress in the digestive system. MCFA creates Ketones, even when eating a higher carb diet. The MCFA is the reason why Coconut oil helps people so much.

Cordain has been a bad influence on Paleo diets :-(.

-1
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:25 AM

NO. Saturated fats clog up your arteries. Don't believe the Paleo dogma that will try to tell you otherwise. Most of these sites are funded by meat lobbies that are trying to brainwash the public into thinking that saturated fat is good for you. Click here to read more.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 02:36 PM

This is most of you guys right now: http://i.imgur.com/wnDYF.jpg

1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:59 AM

LOL jesus christ Kasra.. You made my heart stop with that post.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 24, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Oh I'm swooning at Kasra's Paleohacks Points! lol. Maybe I would have as many if I wasn't so blunt with people? lol

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:06 AM

And our life expectancy increased by 29 years in that same time.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Guys, seriously, look at how many Paleohacks Points I have. I clearly would understand the foudational tenets of the philosophy this site is about.

A190543468586aa445265c8165e254e2

(80)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:37 AM

Omg. How did the human species survive until procter & gamble invented Crisco 100 years ago??? http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/how-vegetable-oils-replaced-animal-fats-in-the-american-diet/256155/

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:06 AM

And look at what happened to our life expectancy in those 100 years. U.S. Life Expectancy 1910 : about 50 years. U.S. Life Expectancy 2010 : about 79 years.

1398eff69b192c35de5e0dbaad59052a

(2024)

on May 24, 2012
at 03:33 AM

What does that link have to do with butter or meat lobbies?

4de2c59d682664a54cfcd4f0979e1115

on May 24, 2012
at 01:17 AM

Increase in life expectancy over the past century is largely due to vaccination programs -- fewer children are dying, which brings up the average age.

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