BHT (butylated-hydroxytoluene) hydrox toluene, BHA

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BHT (butylated-hydroxytoluene) hydrox toluene - Page 2

BHT and Clotting
BHT causes a lowering of prothrombin index (the time it takes for blood to clot) in rats at doses as low as 0.017% of diet after one week (Takahashi 1978).  This effect also attenuates with time.  After four weeks, prothrombin index was lowered only at 0.25% and 0.50% BHT.  This effect may be due to inhibition of phylloquinone epoxide reductase (Takahashi 1981c) which allows accumulation of a prothrombin precursor in the microsomes of treated rats.  The hemorrhagic effect is completely blocked by phylloquinone (Vitamin K) or phylloquinone oxide (Suzuki 1979, Takahashi 1979).

There has been no published data concerning this effect in man or monkey, but there are numerous anecdotal reports of delayed clotting in humans.  It is possible that supplemental Vitamin K may prove of benefit.  Special caution is indicated with concurrent use of other substances with anti-coagulant activity, like aspirin or EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), especially during the titration phase of taking BHT.


From: Will Duff
Subject: BHT = Preservative
Date: 25 Oct 1994

Interesting stuff, BHT and BHA.  Not only super antioxidants, but apparently health-promoting.  Here are some excerpts from NY Times.

New York Times 25 October, 1994 - Science Times Section by, The Associated Press:

Advocates of natural foods have long objected to the use of preservatives, but Dr. Andrew Dannenberg of Cornell Medical College found that the preservatives BHA and BHT "revved up" the gene for an enzyme called UDP-glucuronosyltransferase, or UGT.  When the genes are cranked up, they produce more of the enzyme providing better protection in the environment, Dr. Dannenberg reported last month at an International Conference at Rockefeller University in New York.  The study found elevated levels of the enzyme in the liver, kidneys and small intestines of rats fed higher doses of BHA and BHT than are normally found in foods, Dr. Dannenberg said.  He then found preliminary evidence that the substances do the same thing in humans.  Dr. Dannenberg said he had also found that sulforaphane, an agent recently isolated in broccoli, exerts its action partly in the same way, by energizing the gene for UGT.

-- end --

In 1968, in an AMA magazine (Today's Health) it was reported that in a toxicology test of BHT, the lab mice were living 30% longer on a 1% diet by weight of BHT over the controls.

Will Duff


The below is excerpted from SAN FRANCISCO SENTINEL, August 15, 1986

Pearson and Shaw
Most of the popular interest in uses of BHT stemmed from two books by Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw: Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach, and The Life Extension Companion.  Another of the best-informed groups on the use of BHT is the MegaHealth Society, with offices in Los Altos, CA, and Manhattan Beach, CA.  Steven Fowkes in the Los Altos office has been talking with users and collecting their reports for six years.  He also co-authored a book with John Mann which was published by the Mega Health Society and available from them or at some health-food stores.  Fowkes is now trying to bring BHT to public attention.

Fowkes has spoken with or corresponded with hundreds of people using BHT;  we asked him about the overall success rate.  He said that most of those who call him are the ones for whom it has failed to work.  Usually they have taken less than one gram per day of BHT orally, and when they raise the dose, and take the BHT with coconut oil or flax seed oil to help it dissolve, it often works.  About a third of those who call are not able to get good results with anything he suggests.

On the other hand, the vast majority of those who write report good results; usually they are writing to offer thanks.  Some also report temporary skin reactions; almost always these are people on low-fat diets.  Half of those who write say that their skin has improved since they started taking BHT.  It can be taken in capsules, or the crystals can be dissolved in coconut oil.  Topical applications of BHT solution (10% BHT in coconut oil) are used.  The BHT in coconut oil solution can be made at home by dissolving bulk BHT in coconut oil in a double boiler on your stove, or by mild, gradual warming in a microwave oven.  Frequent stirring is necessary as BHT dissolves rather slowly.

Taking it in oil may be more effective but most people use the capsules because they don't like working with powders.  The capsules should probably be taken with fatty foods, coconut oil, or flax seed oil, since BHT dissolves in fat, but not in water.  Both forms are available in some health-food stores, or from health-products companies such as SmartBodyz Nutrition.

One company, Key Pharmaceuticals in Miami, has a patent on the use of BHT so it does have an interest in research.  This company helped finance a double-blind study and it may receive approval to market a BHT ointment.

In San Francisco, we spoke with Jim Gulli, who has used BHT for almost a year.  Gulli takes one gram of BHT, dissolved in oils, once daily.  Since it takes about a day of occasional shaking to dissolve the crystals, he prepares a month's supply at a time, adding about 35 grams of BHT to 70 tablespoons of the oils; one tablespoon from each of the two oils then provides a total of one gram.  He experienced side effects at first -- some light-headedness, and loss of appetite for two to three weeks but no problems after that.

Gulli knows several other people who are using BHT and hopes to start an information group. 

Some Precautions
Here are some warnings which we have heard from people who are using BHT.  This list is not complete, and some of the items could be wrong.  Do not rely on this article for medical advice;  we are reporting these precautions for information only.

* Before deciding to use BHT, consider the risks.  BHT should not be used casually.

* BHT should be avoided by anyone with hepatitis or other liver problems.

* Beware of overdose, especially if you measure the crystals yourself.  Note that doses should be proportional to body weight.  The two people we spoke with who use BHT are taking no more than one gram per day.

* BHT is fat soluble, so thin people may need less.  Also, persons on low-fat diets may be more susceptible to side effects.

* BHT can interfere with blood clotting, so it might be a special risk for persons with ITP, hemophilia, or other clotting problems.

* When BHT is being used, it is a good idea to take vitamin C also.

* Doses of BHT should start small and gradually increase.  It is probably not harmful to stop abruptly, however, BHT stays in the body for several weeks.

* A few people are chemically sensitive to BHT.  One study (Fisherman and Cohen, 1973) gave test doses to persons who already had allergy or asthma problems to see if BHT in food was the cause.  In those who reacted to BHT, a 250 mg dose (half that amount for severe asthmatics) caused a flare-up of the problem;  some of the asthmatics needed medical treatment to stop the attack.  The reactions always showed up within 75 minutes.  While such reactions were rare, they do reinforce the advice that small doses be used at first.

* In research studies, BHT has changed the sensitivity of animals to radiation damage.  When it is first used, sensitivity is increased;  later, sensitivity is decreased.  Anyone receiving radiation treatments should be sure to tell their doctor if they are using BHT.

* Maintain a balanced diet. One study gave toxic doses of BHT to rats and found these doses caused more damage to animals that were on a protein-deficient diet.

* Alcohol should be avoided for at least several hours after taking BHT.  Alcohol may have a stronger effect than usual, so be especially careful about driving.

* Some people should avoid taking BHT on an empty stomach.

* There may be special risks to using BHT during pregnancy.

* BHT may interact with other drugs.  It may either increase or decrease their effects.  Some drug interactions may be unknown, but a pharmacist may be able to help.

* Always let your doctor know what you are doing.  With BHT, as with anything, you should research and understand what you are doing.  Share what you have learned with your doctor.  Most of them will be more sympathetic if they know that you have done your homework.

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