The Weston A Price Foundation was founded in 1999 in the USA to promote the research and findings of Dr Weston Price (1870-1948), a Cleveland dentist, who travelled the world assessing the nutrition and dentition of indigenous peoples. With chapters in many countries, including the UK, the WAPF disseminates accurate nutritional information, backed by research, to support the health benefits of traditional diets. Their various pamphlets summarise specific topics, the text below taken from those on butter’s benefits and soy hazards
Butter and your health
Heart disease: Butter contains many nutrients that protect against heart disease including vitamins A, D, K2 and E, lecithin, iodine and selenium. A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine (Nutrition Week 21:12, 22/3/91).
Cancer: The short- and medium-chain fatty acids in butter have strong anti-
tumour effects. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in butter from grass-fed cows also gives excellent protection against cancer.
Arthritis: The Wulzen or ‘anti-stiffness’ factor in raw butter and also vitamin K2 in grass-fed butter protect against calcification of the joints as well as hardening of the arteries, cataracts and calcification of the pineal gland that normally produces melatonin. Calves fed pasteurized milk or skim milk develop joint stiffness and do not thrive.
Osteoporosis: Vitamins A, D and K2 in butter are essential for the proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus and hence necessary for strong bones and teeth.
Thyroid health: Butter is a good source of iodine, in a highly absorbable form. Butter consumption prevents goiter in mountainous areas where seafood is not available. In addition, vitamin A in butter is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
Digestion: Glycospingolipids in butterfat protect against gastro-intestinal infection, especially in the very young and the elderly. Arachidonic acid in butter helps build a healthy gut wall.
Growth and development: Many factors in butter ensure optimal growth of children, especially iodine and vitamins A, D and K2. Low-fat diets have been linked to failure to thrive in children, yet low-fat diets are often recommended for youngsters!
Asthma: Saturated fats in butter are critical to lung function and protect against asthma (Thorax, Jul 2003;58(7):567-72).
Overweight: CLA and short- and medium-chain fatty acids in butter help control weight gain.
Fertility: Many nutrients contained in butter are needed for fertility and normal reproduction.
Skin: Arachidonic acid and vitamins A and D in butter help maintain healthy skin.
Best: Raw butter from grass-fed cows.
Good: Pasteurized butter from grass-fed cows.
Still good: Regular pasteurized butter from supermarkets – still a much healthier choice than margarine or spreads.
For sources, contact WAPF and request their Shopping Guide; visit www.realmilk.com; or www.westonaprice.org .
Bad items in margarine, shortenings and spreads
Trans fats: These unnatural fats in margarine, shortenings and spreads are formed during the process of partial hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oil into a solid fat. Trans fats contribute to heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin diseases; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy and problems with lactation; and low birth weight, growth problems and learning disabilities in children. A US Government panel of scientists has determined that man-made, trans fats are unsafe at any level. (Small amounts of natural trans fats occur in butter and other animal fats, but these are not harmful.)
Free radicals: These and other toxic breakdown products are the result of high-temperature, industrial processing of vegetable oils. They contribute to numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
Synthetic vitamins: Synthetic vitamin A and other vitamins are added to margarine and spreads.
Read the complete article in issue 110.