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6 Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Butter

We have all been trained by modern society to believe that saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for the body. Studies have shown that both saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet actually help reduce inflammation and prevent heart disease. Grass-fed butter has incredible health benefits and should be used as a staple part of our diet.

Heart Disease was considered a very rare disease in the early 20th century. However, as food processing began to take off so did the occurrence of heart disease. By the 1950′s, it was considered a major health threat. Today, despite trillions of dollars of research and the best medical equipment available, the American Heart Association said in 2012 that Americans have a greater than 50% chance of developing heart disease during the course of their lives.


The Lipid Hypothesis:

Developed by Ancel Keys in the 1950′s, this theory states that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease. With questionable evidence, Keys’ went about writing articles and promoting this hypothesis throughout the medical world.

Meanwhile, hundreds of subsequent studies testing this hypothesis have found differing conclusions. Despite the lack of evidence, this notion took off throughout the healthcare world and was fueled by the vegetable oil and food processing industries that sought to benefit from this finding.


1. Saturated Fat Has Extraordinary Benefits

Butter has been vilified due its high content of saturated fat and cholesterol. It contains roughly 63% saturated fat and 31 mg of cholesterol in a tbsp. While most in society are still trained to believe this is bad for the body the studies show the opposite.

Dietary saturated fat and cholesterol have been shown to improve hormone regulation and cell membrane function. They also have been shown too:

Raise HDL Levels – the good protective lipoprotein (1)

Change LDL Particles – From the dangerous small dense particles to the benign, large buoyant particles (2)


2. Profound Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Controlling inflammation is the key to good health and disease prevention. Because fatty acids make up the outer layer of every cell in our body and they are the precursers to the formation of major sex hormones, they have a very critical role in cell signaling and controlling inflammation. A diet rich in omega 6 fats and low in omega 3 fats has been shown to promote inflammation and hormonal alterations. A diet with ideal omega 6:3 ratio (around 2:1 or 1:1) seems to be the best way to reduce cellular inflammation. 

Grass-fed Butter contains the ideal ratio of omega 6: omega 3 fatty acids, which is especially important for optimizing cell membrane function and reducing inflammation. Grain-fed butter has a high omega 6:3 ratio which will promote inflammatory conditions in the body. Grass-fed butter also has significantly more anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants than grain-fed butter.


3. Grass-Fed Butter is Rich in Butyrate

Butyrate is a 4 carbon chain saturated fatty acid. It is called a small chain fatty acid (SCFA) and it has a profound benefit on energy production and digestive health. Butyrate is actually produced by intestinal bacteria when they metabolize cellulose and other prebiotic fibers. Butyrate is the major reason why fiber is so beneficial to our health.

Butyrate is the preferred fuel source for our large intestinal cells. This is especially important because it helps prevent and heal leaky gut syndrome. Intestinal permeability is considered by many the leading source of inflammation in the body. This is most likely the rationale by how butyrate helps reduce auto-immunity and prevent cancer cell development.(3)

Many scientists are suggesting that inflammatory bowel disorders may be caused or aggravated by a deficiency of butyrate. Butyrate also is a great energy source for our skeletal muscle and our heart and has anti-inflammatory effects on the entire body. (4)

While fiber is an indirect source of butyrate, grass-fed butter contains tons of immediate butyrate that is readily available for our body. The SCFA’s and medium chain fats that butter is so rich in are easy on our digestive tract as well and do not depend upon strong enzymes or bile production. This conserves energy and vital resources while getting all the nutritional benefits that butter has to offer.


4. Rev Up Your Metabolism & Fight Cancer

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a long-chain fatty acid that has significant health benefits. Meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals can produce 300-500% more CLA than those of cattle fed the usual diet of hay and grains.

Back in 1979, University of Wisconsin researchers found that beef extract had a significant anti-carcinogenic function. It wasn’t until 1987 that scientists discovered it was the CLA that provided these benefits. It was shown that CLA helps to upregulate the tumor suppressing gene PTPRG.

Michael Pariza is the famed scientist who discovered CLA. He says, “few anti-carcinogens, and certainly no other known fatty acids, are as effective as CLA in inhibiting carcinogenesis.” A diet with as little as 0.5% CLA has been shown to reduce tumor growth by over 50%.(5)

One of the powerful attributes of CLA is its ability to suppress inflammatory prostaglandins such as PGE2. Blocking this substance reduces inflammation in the joints, muscles, bones, organs and brain. This allows for stronger and healthier brain and body. Chicks and rats fed CLA rich butterfat had significantly greater bone growth than animals fed other fats.

CLA has a powerful effect on enhancing cellular insulin sensitivity & stabilizing blood sugar. In fact, researchers say it mimics the effect of synthetic diabetic drugs without any negative side effects.

Testing has shown that consuming CLA for longer than 8 weeks has significant effect on circulating insulin and blood glucose. Additionally, CLA speeds up metabolism and increases the process of fat breakdown. Many researchers have hypothesized that a lack of CLA in the modern diet is a significant factor in the obesity epidemic.


5.  Great Source of Retinol:

When cows eat grass they concentrate anti-oxidants into their dairy. The major anti-oxidant that is concentrated is fat-soluble form of vitamin A called retinol. Retinol is especially important for healthy neurological function, immune coordination and vision.

It is also considered a beauty nutrient as it improves the texture of your skin, prevents the formation of acne and eczema and improves the shine of your hair. Many individuals are deficient in retinol because they have chosen to restrict animal fats. Retinol is only found in high amounts in grass-fed dairy fat, organmeats and pasture-fed egg yolk.

Grass-fed butter is also a rich source of various beneficial vitamin E tocopherols and other carotenoid anti-oxidants. These all have a positive effect at reducing oxidative stress in the arterioles and reducing risk of heart disease.


6.  Grass-Fed Butter is Rich in Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 is a very critical nutrient for regulating calcium metabolism in the body. When an individual has poor calcium metabolism it will lead to calcium deposits being distributed throughout the body. This means the individual will have a greater risk of developing gall stones, kidney stones, osteoarthritis, and calcium plaques in the endothelial lining of their heart. (6)

Poor calcium metabolism is also a risk factor in the development of various forms of cancer. Vitamin K2 induces a mechanism called “oncosis,” which is a form of stress-activated ischemic cell death in tumor cells that are particularly susceptible. Many studies and articles have been written demonstrating the anti-cancer effects of K2.

When animals graze on vitamin K1 rich grasses the bacteria in their digestive system convert the K1 into bioactive K2. So there is significantly more of this beneficial K2 in grass-fed butter than in grain-fed butter.

Vitamin K2 works with vitamin D3 to act like a vacuum cleaner to suck the excess calcium out of our blood stream and into the bones where it belongs. This promotes healthy circulation, strong bones and a healthier immune system. Grass-fed butter contains a rich amount of valuable vitamin K2 and D3.



  1. Hayek T, Ito Y, Azrolan N, et al. Dietary fat increases high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels both by increasing the transport rates and decreasing the fractional catabolic rates of HDL cholesterol ester and apolipoprotein (Apo) A-I. Presentation of a new animal model and mechanistic studies in human Apo A-I transgenic and control mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 1993;91(4):1665-1671.

  2. Clifton PM, Noakes M, Nestel PJ. LDL particle size and LDL and HDL cholesterol changes with dietary fat and cholesterol in healthy subjects. J Lipid Res. 1998 Sep;39(9):1799-804. PMID: 9741692

  3. Williams EA, Coxhead JM, Mathers JC. Anti-cancer effects of butyrate: use of micro-array technology to investigate mechanisms. Proc Nutr Soc. 2003 Feb;62(1):107-15. PMID: 12740065

  4. Segain JP, Raingeard de la Blétière D, Bourreille A, Leray V, Gervois N, Rosales C, Ferrier L, Bonnet C, Blottière HM, Galmiche JP. Butyrate inhibits inflammatory responses through NFkappaB inhibition: implications for Crohn’s disease. Gut. 2000 Sep;47(3):397-403. PMID: 10940278

  5. Women’s Health Matters – Nutrition & Breast Cancer 

  6. Life Extension Magazine – Protecting Bone and Arterial Health with Vitamin K2 

Why Grass-Fed Butter Is One of the Healthiest Fats on the Planet

 Source : EWContributor 

Why Grass-Fed Butter Is One of the Healthiest Fats on the Planet

Butter is one of the healthiest fats on the planet.

It's not just a big pile of yellow-colored fat, there are many important nutrients in there, some of which have potent biological effects. However, this does depend on the type of butter, and the amounts of these nutrients vary greatly depending on what the cows ate.

Butter From Grass-Fed Cows is a Major Source of Heart-Healthy Nutrients

Butter is basically just milk fat, also known as butterfat. Butterfat is highly complex. It contains about 400 different fatty acids, and a decent amount of fat-soluble vitamins (1). Fatty acids are actually more than just energy sources, some of them have potent biological activity. As it turns out, many of the fatty acids in butter can affect our physiology and biochemistry in some way, leading to major health benefits. This includes the fatty acid CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). It is popular as a fat loss supplement, and studies show that it can have powerful effects on health (23). Grass-fed butter contains five times more CLA than butter from grain-fed cows (4). Butter from grass-fed cows is also much higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K2, compared to butter from grain-fed cows (5). As you can see, butter from grass-fed cows is a much healthier and more nutritious choice.

Butter Contains Saturated Fat, But Who Cares?

Butter used to be considered unhealthy, because it contains saturated fat.

However, this is actually not a valid argument against butter, because the saturated fat myth has been thoroughly debunked in recent years. Two massive review studies were published recently, one in 2010 and the other in 2014. Both included hundreds of thousands of people. These studies clearly showed that there is no association between saturated fat consumption and heart disease (67).

Studies Show That People Who Eat Grass-Fed Butter Have a Lower Risk of Heart Disease

The relationship between full-fat dairy consumption and heart disease seems to depend on the country in which the study is performed. In countries where cows are largely grass-fed, the people who eat the most butter seem to have a drastically reduced risk of heart disease. An impressive study on this was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in the year 2010: Smit LA, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid in adipose tissue and risk of myocardial infarction. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010. This study looked at the levels of CLA in the fat tissue of 1813 non-fatal heart attack patients, and compared them to 1813 similar subjects who had not gotten heart attacks. Levels of this fatty acid are a very reliable marker for the intake of fatty dairy products, and this study was done in Costa Rica, where cows are grass-fed. They split the subjects into 5 groups, from lowest to highest, depending on their levels of CLA. The results were fairly remarkable:




















As you can see, the more full-fat dairy (like butter) people ate, the lower their risk of heart attack.

In fact, the people who ate the most were 49 percent less likely to experience a heart attack, compared to those who ate the least. However, keep in mind that this was a case-control study, a type of observational study. These types of studies can not prove causation. This study shows that people who eat more grass-fed dairy fat have a lower risk of heart disease, but it can not prove that dairy fat caused the reduction in risk. But, at the very least, this study is pretty good reassurance that butter is not the devil it was made out to be.

Many Other Studies Have Shown Similar Results

This is far from being the only study. Another study from Australia showed that people who ate the most full-fat dairy had a 69% lower risk of heart disease than people who ate the least (8).

Several other studies in European countries, where cows are generally grass-fed, have shown that dairy fat is linked to reduced heart attacks and strokes (910).

Grass-Fed Butter is Super Healthy

Despite having been demonized in the past, real grass-fed butter is one of the healthiest fats on the planet. Period.

Why Grass-Fed Butter is Good For You

The heart disease epidemic started around 1920-1930 and is currently the world’s leading cause of death.

Somewhere along the way, nutrition professionals decided that foods like butter, meat and eggs were to blame.

According to them, these foods caused heart disease because they were high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

But we’ve been eating butter for thousands of years, since long before heart disease became a problem.

Blaming new health problems on old foods doesn’t make sense.

As consumption of traditional fatty foods like butter went down, diseases like heart disease, obesity and type II diabetes went up.

The truth is, natural foods like butter have nothing to do with heart disease.

Saturated Fat is Not The Devil It Was Made Out to be

The reason butter was demonized is because it is loaded with saturated fat.

In fact, a very high proportion of dairy fat is saturated, whereas a large part of most other animal fats (like lard) is also mono- and polyunsaturated.

Butter, being almost pure dairy fat, is therefore very high in saturated fat, the fatty acids in it being about 63% saturated (1).

However, that really is not a cause for concern. The whole saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease myth has been thoroughly debunked (234).

In fact, saturated fats can actually improve the blood lipid profile:


  • They raise levels of HDL (the good) cholesterol, which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease (567).

  • They change the LDL from small, dense (bad) to Large LDL – which is benign and not associated with heart disease (89).

Therefore, saturated fat is not a valid reason to avoid butter. It is completely benign… a healthy source of energy for the human body.

Grass-Fed Butter is Loaded With Vitamin-K2, The Missing Nutrient That De-Calcifies Your Arteries

Most people have never heard of Vitamin K, but it is one of the most important nutrients for optimal heart health.

There are several forms of the vitamin. We have K1 (phylloquinone), which is found in plant foods like leafy greens. Then we have Vitamin K2 (menaquinone), which is found in animal foods.

Even though the two forms are structurally similar, they appear to have different effects on the body. While K1 is important in blood clotting, Vitamin K2 helps to keep calcium out of your arteries (1011).

High-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows are among the best sources of Vitamin K2 in the diet. Other good sources include egg yolks, goose liver and natto – a fermented soy-based dish (1213).

Vitamin K works by modifying proteins, giving them the ability to bind calcium ions. For this reason, it affects all sorts of functions related to calcium metabolism.

One problem with calcium, is that it tends to leach out of the bones (causing osteoporosis) and into the arteries (causing heart disease).

By optimizing your intake of Vitamin K2, you can partly prevent this process from occurring. Studies consistently show that Vitamin K2 dramatically reduces the risk of both osteoporosis and heart disease (1415).

In the Rotterdam study, which examined the effects of Vitamin K2 on heart disease, those who had the highest intake had a 57% lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 26% lower risk of death from all causes, over a 7-10 year period (16).

Another study found that the risk of heart disease was 9% lower in women for every 10 micrograms of Vitamin K2 they consumed per day. Vitamin K1 (the plant form) had no effect (17).

Given how incredibly protective Vitamin K2 is against heart disease, the advice to avoid butter and eggs may have actually fueled the heart disease epidemic.

Butter is Loaded With an Anti-Inflammatory Fatty Acid Called Butyrate

In the past few decades, heart disease has been believed to be primarily caused by elevated cholesterol.

However, new studies are showing that there are a ton of other factors at play.

One of the main ones is inflammation, which is now believed to be a leading driver of heart disease (181920).

Of course, inflammation is important and helps protect our bodies from injury and infections. But when it is excessive or directed against the body’s own tissues, it can cause severe harm.

It is now known that inflammation in the endothelium (lining of arteries) is a crucial part of the pathway that ultimately leads to plaque formation and heart attacks (21).

One nutrient that appears to be able to fight inflammation is called butyrate (or butyric acid). This is a 4-carbon long, short-chain saturated fatty acid.

Studies show that butyrate is potently anti-inflammatory (222324).

One of the reasons fiber reduces heart disease risk may be that the bacteria in the intestine digest some of the fiber and turn it into butyrate (25262728).

Bottom Line: Butter is a great source of a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate, which helps fight inflammation.

In Countries Where Cows Are Grass-Fed, Butter Consumption is Associated With a Dramatic Reduction in Heart Disease Risk

The nutrient composition and the health effects of dairy products can vary greatly, depending on what the cows ate.

In nature, cows used to roam free and eat grass, which is the “natural” source of food for cows.

However, cattle today (especially in the U.S.) is primarily fed grain-based feeds with soy and corn.

Grass-fed dairy is much higher in Vitamin K2 and Omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that are incredibly important for the heart (29).

Overall, there is no positive association between dairy fat and heart disease, although high-fat dairy products are associated with a reduced risk of obesity (3031).

But if you look at some countries where cows are generally fed grass, you see a completely different effect.

According to one study from Australia, where cows are grass-fed, individuals who ate the most high-fat dairy products had a 69% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, compared to those who ate the least (32).

Several other studies agree with this… in countries where cows are largely grass-fed (like many European countries), high-fat dairy products are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease (333435).

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