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We Told You So! Butter Replaces Statins

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Butter!

Statins are one of the most used drugs in the history of human existence.  In 2008, $12.4 billion dollars worth of Lipitor was sold. In 2000, almost half of all patients with dyslipidemia (bad blood results) were taking a statin (this is despite a lack of clinical trials showing they help).

If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you won’t be surprised that statins are a waste of your money and health.

We’ll be writing more about statins in the future, but this article is going to talk about one man’s experience with an unlikely lipid-lowering drug: butter.

Greg’s Butter Experiment

A New York Lawyer named Greg decided to run an n=1 experiment.  He started eating a half stick (56 grams) of butter a day to lower his cholesterol.  He was careful and precise with his methods, and even conducted a small statistical analysis of the results.  I first learned of his experiment when Seth Roberts posted it on his blog.

Seth and I have been eating a stick of butter a day for quite some time – in my case I’ve been doing it since 2005.  Greg took it a step further with his 1000-calorie omelet:

“In January I added half a stick of butter (about 57 grams) to my morning omelet. I first got this idea from Seth Roberts, who reportedly has been eating half a stick of butter per day for some time in order to increase his mental performance.  Seth believes butter has been good for his heart. Dave Asprey also recommends eating lots of butter for brain health, among other reasons. My omelet consists of four pastured eggs, half a stick of Kerrygold Irish butter, and three tablespoons of coconut oil.  That’s 1,076 calories, 110 grams of fat (75 grams from saturated fat) and 865mg of cholesterol. My diet otherwise stayed the same, though I was usually eating smaller portions of everything else.”

Greg tracked his cholesterol levels over time, and this is what happened:

  • HDL (“good”) cholesterol went up by 19%
  • Non-HDL cholesterol went down by 25%.

[Source]

As a good scientist, Greg was careful to interpret the results with skepticism:

“I should point out that, for a variety of reasons, these are not high quality statistics. First of all, I have no formal training in statistics. Given that some data points were taken fairly close together in time, there is likely some serial correlation between measurements. I also made no particular effort to control for other variables. Finally, these results apply to me. There may well be people who respond differently and for whom butter is unhealthy. As with anything, it is always advisable to test things for yourself. So take this with a grain of salt. Or half a stick of butter, if you prefer.”

This isn’t as surprising as it seems.  A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter had a 50% reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to those using margarine.

Great researchers like Sally Fallon, Chris Masterjohn, and Stephan Guyenet have written extensively about the benefits of butter, especially when it comes to heart health. I believe that butyric acid from butter is one of the major reasons it achieves this effect.  Chris Masterjohn has also written about the dangers of “heart healthy” polyunsaturated fats.

That said, a larger sample size would be nice (and there’s nothing wrong with trying it).  Here is the recipe for Greg’s 1000-calorie omelet, if you want to give this experiment a try:

  • 4 pastured eggs.
  • 56 grams of Kerrygold butter.
  • 42 grams of coconut oil.

Let us know the results in the comments section of this post, or (even better) on the Bulletproof Forum.

In the mean time, I’m going to eat more butter. :)

 

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  • Rory

    I do similar but mix a bit of coconut milk into the eggs and then toss an avocado and 4-6 pieces of bacon into the fold, just long enough to get hot.

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.nq John Nevette Quillinan

      That sounds so incredibly delicious that I’m going to make it on my refeed day.

  • Jake

    I discovered cultured grass fed ghee at AHS 2012. Because it is cultured it is high in Vitamin K2 much like natto is, It is more buttery tasting than butter. Because we both find milk protein iinflammatory my wife and I are now using this ghee instead of butter.

    You should give it a try.

  • Patrick

    Dave,
    I love the Kerry Gold and have been trying the bullet proof coffee for about 2 months. I do have a question though when they state eating a 1/2 stick of butter, the Kerry gold I purchase comes in a small brick looks to be about 2-3 traditional sticks in size. People are not eating 1/2 of the these bricks are they???

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.nq John Nevette Quillinan

      I have about 1/2+ of a kerrygold brick every morning (two cups of coffee, 1/4-1/3 in each cup.) I believe they do mean 1/4 of a brick though which would be about 56 grams.

  • matt

    I went decades with eating egg white omelets using spray butter… About 2 months ago I switched to butter after finding this blog, plus a few other paleo blogs…

    What a difference… I wake up earlier now just to have a coffee with 2 tbs butter + 1 tbs MCT oil, blended. Then if I’m hungry I melt another 2 tbs butter, throw in a lot of spinach, bacon, chives, and 3 whole eggs.

    I feel better and look better. It’s life changing

  • Ashley North

    *Singing* “Eggs, Kerry Gold butter, coconut oil…..These are a few of my favorite things…”

  • Anne

    Hello, your Bulletproof coffee is the object of heated controversies and debates in the Swedish low-carb society at the moment:
    A Swedish nutritionist and famous low-carber claims that drinking your coffee leads to leptine resistance (or at least affects one’s leptin negatively). She claims that eating/drinking more than 70 grams of fat in one meal does that, since it’s not natural for humans, she argues (it’s “overeating” she claims). She also argues it affects the body’s CCK-balance negatively, and thus lead to weight-gain in the long run.
    What is your comment to this?

    (Ps. I think she’s wrong!)

  • Debbie

    what else did the diet consist of daily? the omelet and ??? I think this would be good to know for duplication of results. thank you.

  • DailySuicide

    Might want to read the follow-up post that states, ”
    The HDL remains elevated from before, but non-HDL readings are consistent with my average numbers over the past three years or so. My working hypothesis at this point is that the change in non-HDL I observed originally was a temporary disturbance of homeostasis.”

    http://kneelessmegafauna.blogspot.com/2012/07/butter-not-like-statin-after-all.html

  • KMegafauna

    Hi Dave, thanks for the link! A commenter already pointed out that my drop in non-HDL was apparently temporary. The HDL increase held up, so there have been only positive changes observed so far from this intervention.

    This is all in the context of a fairly low carb diet — basically eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, chocolate, coffee and butter — at around 50 grams of carbs per day. Not sure this would work with higher carbs (or for anyone other than me) but I’ll leave that up to others to confirm or refute.

    Most tangible benefit so far? That stick of butter helped me add 45 pounds to my max deadlift in the last three months. I otherwise find it difficult to take in the 3500-4000 calories I need per day. I also get to enjoy such delicacies as bulletproof mussels, butter-poached salmon and butter/spinach soup. (while the daily omelette has crept up to 1,200 calories…)

  • Anne

    Hello, a Swedish nutritionist and famous low-carber claims that drinking your coffee leads to leptine resistance (or at least affects one’s leptin negative). She claims that eating more than 70 grams of fat in one meal does that, since it’s not natural for humans (she argues).
    What is your comment to this?

  • http://www.genvejen.dk/ Genvejen

    Tried making the omelet. I didn’t go so well, most of the butter and coconut oil separated from the eggs and ended up as a fat liquid at the bottom of the pan when the omelet was done.

    But the omelet was delicious :)

    Have you tried making the omelet? What did you do with the butter and coconut oil, so it didn’t separate from the eggs?

    Thanks,
    Mads

    • KMegafauna

      I actually don’t cook the butter with the omelet any more since it did tend to come out a bit soupy. I cook it in the coconut oil and just eat the butter side by side.

    • Steve Brown

      use a blender to emulsify, just like with bp coffee

  • Sean

    Your thoughts? “He Shou Wu extract has been shown to have a
    significant inhibitory effect on the formation of oxidized lipids.”
    http://www.dragonherbs.com/prodinfo.asp?number=542

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