We have all heard a lot of opinions about butter in the past years. “Butter” is bad and it gives you high cholesterol”. "Butter is yummy and basic to French cooking." “Butter is fattening.”
But I bet you have never heard before that butter is good for your immune system. In fact, butter, cream, and parmesan cheese are great sources of something that may be vital for your immune system.
New data suggests that butyric acid, as contained in butter, can treat colon cancer, bowel disorders, neurological disorders (cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s and Dementia) and Metabolic disorders (like Diabetes).
Wow, that is pretty powerful stuff. Butyric acid, or butyrate, works at a cellular level. It is a basic source of the type of energy cells need to perform their specialized functions. It also helps with cell-signaling. Cells have systems for communication within the cells and cell-to-cell.
Butyric acid calms down an over-active immune system, so is anti-inflammatory. An immune response means that all kinds of natural chemicals and blood and lymph factors rush to an area of illness or injury in the body. This is a good response since that helps the body defend itself and heal. But if that response lasts too long, or becomes chronic, the inflammation itself becomes the problem, and cells and tissue can be damaged. Plus uncomfortable symptoms such as pain, congestion, heat, and redness my persist and make us miserable. So, the body needs to have the capacity to turn off or down-regulate the inflammatory response. Butyric acid helps the body do that.
Butyrate may even help prevent and treat colon cancer, but encouraging the cancer cells to die. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19276343/ Butyric acid is mainly produced by gut bacteria as they act on (ferment) the fiber in your vegetables. If your gut flora has been compromised by using antibiotics, or you have not been eating a large quantity of vegetables, butter is another source.
More studies are needed, but there is early evidence that butyric acid may help blood sugar issues that lead to obesity, insulin resistance, and Diabetes. Anyone who is eating Keto has learned of the benefits of butter as a source of fat and sustained energy. https://www.foundationalmedicinereview.com/blog/exploring-potential-health-benefits-butyric-acid/
With mounting evidence of the connection between our prolific gut flora and our brains, anything that benefits one should benefit the other. This is called the gut-brain axis. So, improve intestinal health and neurological improvement follows. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4903954/
Coconut Oil is known to help brain/neurological health due, as well as benefit gut. Coconut Oil has medium-chain fatty acids. But move over Coconut Oil because butter has short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids form the mucus layer in the intestine that is protective. And when it is too thin you have the syndrome known as “Leaky Gut”. https://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/en/breaking-short-chain-fatty-acids-health/
So, there you have an explanation for this mysterious syndrome that so many have been talking about the past few years. The gut leaks when stuff that should be eliminated, like pathogenic bacteria, or stuff that should be broken down more, like proteins, passes through the protective gut wall and get into the blood. When that happens, inflammation follows if the immune system launches a protective response.
Foods that contain butyric acid include raw milk and cheese from goats, sheep, and buffalo, breast milk, parmesan cheese, ghee, and butter. Especially organic butter from grass-fed cows. https://healthmaven.io/curemenaturally/gut-issues/butyric-acid-foods-for-gut-microbiota-health-QgsPxma6IUKsisGvZYQE9g/
Cow’s milk also contains butyric acid, but high-quality yogurt is a better source.
So, much of what we have been thinking about how bad dairy is, and how bad butter is, may not be true at all. Of course, how we raise the animals that we get milk and butter from makes a great difference.
If you have had some gut and digestive issues, now you have some food sources that may help. Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal discomfort just might benefit from more butter in your diet.
One thing is still true. We need lots and lots of vegetables of all kinds. The famous American chef who introduced Americans to the glories of French cuisine, Julia Child, advised us to eat all of the broccoli plant and not waste the stalks, and now we find out she was right. We need whole vegetables to help our gut buddies make butyric acid to protect us against colon cancer and have a friendly relationship with the neurons in our brains. And be sure to throw on lots of butter, and maybe a sprinkle of good Italian parmesan, as well. Maybe even stir a little butter in your coffee. I do.