Have you ever heard about ghee? Ghee (made from the milk of grass-fed cows) is packed with vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as fatty acids CLA and butyric acid, leading to some interesting health benefits. As you know, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has drawn significant attention in the last two decades for its variety of biologically beneficial effects. CLA reduces body fat, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, and modulates immune and inflammatory responses as well as improves bone mass.
Ghee has been heavily utilized in Ayurveda for thousands of years for its health-promoting properties. It is administered alone and is used in conjunction with herbs to treat various disorders. There are 55 - 60 types of medicated ghee described in the Ayurvedic texts. Positive results have been reported in research conducted on several mixtures containing ghee, demonstrating hypolipidemic effects in psoriasis patients and significantly improved psoriasis-related symptoms.
A study on a rural population in India showed a significantly lower prevalence of coronary heart disease in men who consumed higher amounts of ghee. High doses of medicated ghee decreased serum cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol esters in psoriasis patients. There were significant improvements in the patients’ psoriasis symptoms as well. Other mixtures containing ghee have shown hepatoprotective effects, anticonvulsant activity, effects on enhancement of memory, and enhancement of wound healing.
A 10% ghee-supplemented diet fed for a period of 4 weeks did not have any significant effect on the serum total cholesterol level of Fischer inbred rats. However, 10% dietary ghee significantly (P < 0.05) increased the serum triglyceride level.
Kumar et al., 1998, showed that arachidonic acid, a key inflammatory intermediate in the process of atherosclerosis, was decreased by 65% in serum lipids when ghee was used as the sole source of fat at a 10% level, compared to controls.
And remember! Diets high in saturated fat and the diets high in monounsaturated fat, significantly increased testosterone levels. Whereas the diets high in protein, or the diets high in polyunsaturated fats, both reduced testosterone levels in a pretty much dose dependent manner. The researchers also saw that the higher the dietary fat intake, the higher the testosterone (diet containing mixed fats).
One of the most importante issue about ghee, in my opinion, is that it´s rich in butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that nourishes the cells of the intestines. And we know that good digestion is the key to good health, and if you’re dealing with any sort of digestive issues, healing your gut lining is an important first step.
Ask your doctor/nutritionist about using ghee in balance with other oils in your diet. I like to use in kitchen for everyday scramble eggs, for popcorn sometimes, and topping a whole bread toast. While in Brazil (where I live), I make my own ghee, buying na organic butter. While in USA, I like to buy at a Whole Food Store.
Hari Sharma, et al. The effect of ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid levels and microsomal lipid peroxidation. Ayu. 2010 Apr-Jun; 31(2): 134–140.
Kumar, M. V. et al. Effect of dietary ghee—the anhydrous milk fat, on blood and liver lipids in rats. Nutritional Biochemistry. Feb, 1999, volume 10, Issue 2.
Dilzer A. & Park Y. Implication of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in human health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012;52(6):488-513.
Volek, J. S. et al. Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology Published 1 January 1997 Vol. 82 no. 1, 49-54.
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