Here's an interesting article about butter oil, reprinted from here
:Why I'm In Awe of Butter Oil
by Emmalyn McAllister
I've had a personal revelation, and I'd like to share it with you.
I was eagerly reading my copy of Eat Fat Lose Fat, the new book by Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig, when a paragraph on page 77 stopped me in my tracks. It said,
Dr. Price explained that vitamins A and D are catalysts to mineral absorption and protein utilization. Without them, you cannot absorb minerals, no matter how abundant they may be in your food. In addition, Price discovered another fat-soluble nutrient, a potent catalyst for mineral absorption that he labeled Activator X. It was present in all the diets he studied.
"Wait a MINUTE!!!!" I thought. "Mineral imbalances and deficiencies can lead to all KINDS of health problems!!!! Did Dr. Price mean that if I wasn't getting enough vitamin A and D, I couldn't absorb MINERALS ????????" I read the paragraph again. That was certainly what it had said, hadn't it? It was like someone had hit me upside the head!
I had a very, very personal reason for being keenly interested in this paragraph: I had been pumping large quantities of vitamin and mineral supplements into myself for several years, trying to reverse my arthritis and osteoporosis, and yet, I hadn't seen any reversal in either of my conditions. In fact, I hadn't even been able to stop their progress. So now I wondered, "Had my diet been deficient in some key factors that would have made my mineral supplements work?"
"But how could that have been the case?" I mused. "I had been eating what I thought was a good diet -- certainly one far healthier than most people I knew, anyway -- so how could my diet have been deficient in vitamins A and/or D, especially if these vitamins were so critical to health? And what was this potent super-catalyst for mineral absorption that Dr. Price had discovered in every primitive diet he had studied? Was it some kind of secret key to the superior health and longevity of those 'primitive' societies?"
I put down Eat Fat Lose Fat and picked up my copy of the Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, by Michael T. Murray, N.D. I "Was I experiencing any symptoms of a diet deficient in vitamins A and D;" I wondered. "and if I was, where had my 'healthy diet' failed me?" Here is what I found:
Vitamin A was the first recognized fat-soluble vitamin. Two groups of researchers found that young animals fed a diet deficient in natural fats became very unhealthy, as evidenced by their inability to grow and their poor immune function. These researchers also noted that the animals' eyes became severely inflamed and infected on the restricted diet -- conditions quickly relieved by the addition of butterfat or cod liver oil to the diet. Once known as the 'anti-infective vitamin',vitamin A recently regained recognition as a major determinant of immune status. Carotenes, some of which can be converted to vitamin A, are also gaining a great deal of attention as immune system enhancers.
Vitamin A deficient individuals are more susceptible to infectious diseases and have higher mortality rates.Infectious conditions associated with vitamin A deficiency include the measles, chicken pox, respiratory syncytial virus, AIDS, and pneumonia. Then during the course of the ensuing infections, the already low vitamin A stores are seriously depleted.
Prolonged vitamin A deficiency results in the characteristic signs...a buildup of cellular debris in the hair follicles, giving the skin a goose-bump appearance, which occurs most often at the back of the upper arm; night blindness, and increased rate of infection. As the condition worsens, it also affects the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and genito-urinary tract. Even a mild vitamin A deficiency is associated with a significant increase in mortality.
I read this paragraph and realized that I had been experiencing some of these symptoms for a long time.
So if I was deficient, where had my possible deficiency come from?
Vitamin A deficiency may be because of inadequate dietary intake...or some secondary factor that interferes with the absorption, storage or transport of vitamin A. A variety of factors influence the absorption efficacy of vitamin A and carotene. A deficiency of zinc, vitamin C, protein, or thyroid hormone impairs of conversion of pro-vitamin A carotenes to vitamin A. Vitamin E and zinc are particularly important to the proper function of vitamin A.
Things were starting to get complicated. I decided to explore the possibility of inadequate dietary intake first:
The most concentrated sources of preformed vitamin A are liver, kidney, butter, whole milk, and fortified low-fat and skim milk, while the leading sources of provitamin A carotenes are dark green leafy vegetables (collards and spinach) and yellow-orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and squash).
I looked the list over carefully. I had given up liver years ago because I had read that liver was the main detoxifying organ and consequently full of toxins. Kidney? You've got to be kidding! Butter, whole milk and fortified low-fat and skim milk? Well, no, I used to get all mucousy when I used them, so I stopped using them......ah, years ago. But I HAD been eating my veggies, though...uh, but not much of the ones in the list, and I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which according to Dr. Murray might have impaired the conversion of beta-carotenes.
"OK, so much for vitamin A", I thought. "At least I have access to whole raw milk and butter now, and I'm actually enjoying liver and onions again, now that it comes from healthy, pasture-based beef. But," I wondered, "would including those in my diet at this point be enough to turn my symptoms around? Good question. Wish I had a good answer."
I turned to Chapter 4 in Dr. Murray's book: Vitamin D. Was I deficient in that too?
Since our bodies can produce vitamin D by the action of sunlight on the skin, many experts consider it more of a hormone than a vitamin. Nonetheless, by current definition vitamin D is both. Vitamin D is best known for its ability to stimulate the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D also exerts many anticancer properties, especially against breast and colon cancer.
Vitamin D deficiency results in rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Rickets, characterized by an inability to calcify the bone matrix, results in softening of the skull bones, bowing of the legs, spinal curvature, and increased joint size.Vitamin D deficiency is now most often seen in elderly people who do not get any sunlight. The consequences are lack of bone strength and density, and joint pain.
The symptoms listed in the last sentence sounded very familiar. But unlike, vitamin A, the only cause of deficiency other than inadequate dietary intake that Dr. Murray mentioned was the interaction with certain prescription drugs, none of which I have ever taken. So there it was -- it was likely that my 'good diet' had let me down.
What should I have been eating that I hadn't been? I turned to Dr. Murray for the answer:
Good natural sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, cold-water fish (mackerel, salmon, herring, etcetera), butter, and egg yolks. Vegetables are low in vitamin D; the best sources are dark green leafy vegetables.
Not a very long list. I HAD been taking about a teaspoon a day of flavored cod liver oil for the last several months. I HAD been eating a lot of eggs from the grocery store, but now I was wondering about their nutritional content. I thought I certainly could load my diet with cold-water fish, butter and good, farm fresh eggs from run-around chickens. But whether doing these things would be enough to put the calcium back into my bones and dissolve the calcium deposits from my joints, I didn't know.
So I considered that maybe if I made an effort to eat the foods that contained that "potent catalyst for mineral absorption" that Dr. Price had discovered, that that might make a big difference. In fact, maybe I had been eating those foods all along and hadn't even known that I was!!! In which foods did Dr. Price find this catalyst? I picked up my copy of Eat Fat Lose Fat again.
Dr. Price called the catalyst he discovered, "Activator X", since it activated mineral absorption. (Later the scientific community called it "the Price Factor", after its discoverer.)
Dr. Price noted that all the primitive diets he studied in depth contained large quantities of Activator X, but that only a few sources contained any meaningful quantity of it. All of them were of animal origin:
Oily fish, like salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and anchovies;
Fish eggs; fish liver oils; shellfish;
Organ meats of ruminant animals raised outdoors and on pasture: liver, kidneys, brains, hearts etc. of reindeer, water buffalo, deer, camels, sheep, goats, cows, etc;
The fat of poultry and pigs raised outside and on pasture;
The blubber of sea animals;
Egg yolks; and the
Butterfat from the milk of cows when -- and only when -- they were eating rapidly-growing green grass, which in most places meant only in the spring and fall of the year.
Furthermore, Dr. Price determined that these sources proved to have a very wide range in their content of Activator X, as well as in their content of vitamins A and D, depending upon the degree of nutrition that was available in the food that these animals were eating, which varied greatly from time to time. Taking all the factors into consideration, Dr. Price concluded that for most Americans the most reliable source -- as well as the most highly-concentrated source of Activator X -- was the deep yellow butterfat of cows eating rapidly-growing green grass.
Dr. Price developed a way to further concentrate Activator X and vitamins A and D by putting the butterfat through a low-temperature centrifuge process. He called the finished product, "Activator X butter oil". Inherent in this oil is also the Wulzen Factor, (the anti-stiffness factor) which protects against degenerative arthritis, cataracts, hardening of the arteries, and the calcification of the pineal gland.
Well, I was intrigued. I went to my bookcase and pulled out my copy of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Price. It certainly seemed that Activator X and Vitamins A and D had been key factors in the diets of the legendarily healthy primitives Dr. Price had studied. But what I wanted to know was whether Dr. Price had ever used his Activator X butter oil to treat anyone with osteoporosis or arthritis, and if he had, what had been the results?
Dr. Price devoted the whole of Chapter 22 to the discussion of his use of Activator X butter oil to restore health to those who were unhealthy. In his own words:
Case One: A boy 4 years of age brought to me with a fracture. He was in a cast. Rampant tooth decay was present. The diet had consisted of white bread and skimmed milk, which had been the source of his nutrition for an extended period owing to the poverty of the family at the time of the depression. He had been suffering from convulsions, which had been increasing in severity over a period of eight months. His leg had been broken when he had fallen to the floor in one of his convulsions three months before receiving the reinforced diet. The minister who brought him to me had been called to the home to baptize the boy for burial because he was considered so near death.
The only treatment given was a change in diet from skimmed milk and white bread to whole milk and gruel made of freshly ground whole wheat. Over this gruel was poured about a desert spoonful of butter oil from a sample of butter that had been produced when the cows were eating rapidly growing green wheat. After his first meal, the boy slept his first night without a convulsion. He was fed five times the next day on the same diet, and had no convulsions. Recovery was very rapid.
Dr. Price goes on to note that after only one month, the fracture was healed, and without any treatment on his teeth, his cavities were controlled. He grew to be an athletic young man, active in several sports, particularly baseball.
Case Two: The patient, a girl aged 14, had lost all four of the first permanent molars and the diagnosis made by her local dentist indicated the necessity of removing all of the erupted teeth and the construction of two artificial dentures. Studies indicated that she had forty-two open cavities in twenty-four teeth in addition to fillings. The patient was placed on a reinforced diet including approximately one-half teaspoon of a mixture of high vitamin A and high-activator X butter oil mixed with equal parts of a very high-vitamin natural cod-liver oil taken in capsules three times a day. She was on this regimen for about seven months, with the result that there was very little evidence of extension of the caries, notwithstanding that no fillings were placed, with the exception of two or three temporary ones.
This girl, at 15, has all her teeth, with the exception of the four first permanent molars, extracted earlier in life. The teeth have been well restored with good masticating surfaces and the appearance of the patient is excellent. She is so enthusiastic that she wishes to give lectures on nutrition to aid others with their dental problems.
Case Three: During the severe industrial depression, rampant caries developed in a great number of cases in the families of mill workers...twenty-seven mission children were selected on the basis of rampant dental caries. Since these children were all from poor homes, many of the families being on relief, one extra good meal a day at midday was provided for the entire group at the mission. This was preceded by administration to each child of one teaspoonful of a mixture containing a high vitamin butter oil. This butter was selected on the basis of its high content of activator X. It was mixed with equal parts of a high-vitamin, natural cod liver oil. The clinical effect was apparent complete control of dental caries for the entire group, as shown in the x-ray films. In many of these cases, the open cavities were left without fillings; and, in all such cases, the exposed dentin took on a hard glassy finish. There were many other evidences of betterment.
One of the boys, who was so weak at the beginning of the test that it was considered questionable whether it was safe for him to walk the two blocks from his home to the mission for the one reinforced meal a day, in six weeks was able to play basketball. He was dashing about as a star player, and there was no evidence of undue fatigue on his part in this strenuous game.
During the experiment, the home meals were not changed, nor was the home care of the teeth. It is important to note that the home diet which had been responsible for the tooth decay, was exceedingly low in body-building and repair material and high in sweets and refined starches. It usually consisted of a highly-sweetened coffee and white bread, vegetable fat, pancakes made of a white flour and eaten with syrup, and doughnuts fried in vegetable fat.
It is important to note with regard to the effect of the special nutritional program on this group of mission children that two different teachers came to me to inquire as to what had been done to make a particular child change from one of the poorest in the class in capacity to learn to one of the best.
I was in awe. I put down the book. So there it was: Activator X butter oil and high-vitamin cod liver oil.
I believed I had found my answer, for I reasoned that if the combination of Activator X butter oil and high-vitamin cod liver oil could work such miracles as those I had read about, surely it could help me too.
Copyright 2005 Emmalyn F. McAllister. All rights reserved.