The Anti-inflammatory Effects of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Grass-fed Butter, and Grass-fed Ghee
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:
Contains polyphenols that have been shown to decrease oxidative stress.1-4
Has been shown to lower pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF-alpha and to increase the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.5
Contains the medium-chain fatty acid lauric acid and has shown anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal activity.6-8
The cardiovascular effects of extra virgin coconut oil include:
Raising HDL cholesterol.9,10
Reducing LDL oxidation.11
Decreasing triglyceride levels.12
Contains the short-chain fatty acid butyrate.13,14
Contains the fatty acid Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA.15
Cardiovascular effects of grass-fed butter:
A fatty acid in whole-fat dairy and butter is associated with lower triglycerides and a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease.16
The benefits of butyrate include:
Has been shown to inhibit NF-kappa B in immune cells and decrease the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF-alpha.17,18
Activates anti-inflammatory T regulatory cells and the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines including IL-10.19
Repairs and strengthens the intestinal cells of the gut lining.20
Supports mucus production on the surface of the gut lining leading to increased protection against harmful pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.21
Supports the production of tight junction proteins that hold intestinal cells of the gut lining tight together protecting against a leaky gut.22
The benefits of CLA include:
Shown to decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF-alpha.23
Shown to increase the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.24
Has been shown to lower levels of inflammatory chemicals.25
Contains antioxidants that combat free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.26
Contains the short-chain fatty acid butyrate, although in lower concentrations than in butter.27
Contains the fatty acid Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA.28
The cardiovascular effects of grass-fed ghee:
Ghee is a good source of oleic acid which is capable of protecting LDL particles from oxidation.29,30
1 Illam, S., Narayanankutty, A., & Raghavamenon, A. (2017). Polyphenols of Virgin Coconut Oil Prevent Pro-Oxidant Mediated Cell Death. Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, (6), 442-450. DOI:10.1080/15376516.2017.1320458
2 Dosumu, O., Akinola, O., Akang, E. (2012). Alcohol-induced Testicular Oxidative Stress and Cholesterol Homeostasis in Rats - The Therapeutic Potential of Virgin Coconut Oil. Middle East Fertility Society Journal, 17(2), 122- 128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mefs.2011.12.005
3 Famurewa, A. C., Folawiyo, A. M., Enohnyaket, E. B., Azubuike-Osu, S. O., Abi, I., Obaje, S. G., & Famurewa, O. A. (2018). Beneficial Role of Virgin Coconut Oil Supplementation Against Acute Methotrexate Chemotherapy- Induced Oxidative Toxicity and Inflammation In Rats. Integrative Medicine Research, 7(3), 257–263. doi: 10.1016/j.imr.2018.05.001
4 Fernando, W., Martins, I., Goozee, K.G., Brennan, C., Jayasena, V., Martins, R.N. (2015). The Role of Dietary Coconut for the Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease:Potential Mechanisms of Action. British Journal of Nutrition, 114(1), 1-14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114515001452
5 Sadeghi, S., Wallace, F. A., & Calder, P. C. (1999). Dietary Lipids Modify The Cytokine Response to Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide in Mice. Immunology,
96(3), 404–410. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2567.1999.00701.x
6 Fernando, Martins, Goozee, Brennan, Jayasena, Martins, The Role of Dietary Coconut for the Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease:Potential Mechanisms of Action.
7 Peedikayil, F. C., Remy, V., John, S., Chandru, T. P., Sreenivasan, P., & Bijapur, G. A. (2016). Comparison of Antibacterial Efficacy of Coconut Oil and Chlorhexidine on Streptococcus mutans: An in vivo Study. Journal of
International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 6(5), 447–452. doi:10.4103/2231-0762.192934
8 Khoramnia, A., Ebrahimpour, A., Ghanbari, R., Ajdari, Z., & Lai, O. M. (2013). Improvement Of Medium Chain Fatty Acid Content and Antimicrobial Activity of Coconut Oil Via Solid-State Fermentation Using A Malaysian
geotrichum candidum. Biomed Research International, 2013, 954542. doi:10.1155/2013/954542
9 Dosumu, Akinola, Akang, Alcohol-induced Testicular Oxidative Stress and Cholesterol Homeostasis in Rats - The Therapeutic Potential of Virgin Coconut Oil.
10 Fernando, Martins, Goozee, Brennan, Jayasena, Martins, The Role of Dietary Coconut for the Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease:Potential Mechanisms of Action.
13 Kwak, H., Ganesan, P., & Mijan, M. (2013). Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products.
Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition, 390-411. DOI:10.1002/9781118534168.ch18
14 Bourassa, M. W., Alim, I., Bultman, S. J., & Ratan, R. R. (2016). Butyrate, Neuroepigenetics and the Gut Microbiome: Can a High Fiber Diet Improve Brain Health? Neuroscience Letters, 625, 56–63. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2016.02.009
15 Kwak, Ganesan, & Mijan, Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products.
16 de Oliveira Otto, M. C., Nettleton, J. A., Lemaitre, R. N., Steffen, L. M., Kromhout, D., Rich, S. S., … Mozaffarian, D. (2013). Biomarkers of Dairy Fatty Acids and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2(4), e000092. doi:10.1161/JAHA.113.000092
17 Segain, J. P., Raingeard de la Blétière, D., Bourreille, A., Leray, V., Gervois, N., Rosales, C., … Galmiche, J. P. (2000). Butyrate Inhibits Inflammatory Responses Through Nfkappab Inhibition: Implications For Crohn's Disease.
Gut, 47(3), 397–403. doi:10.1136/gut.47.3.397
18 Liu, H., Wang, J., He, T., Becker, S., Zhang, G., Li, D. & Ma, X. (2018). Butyrate: A Double-Edged Sword for Health? Advances in Nutrition, 9(1), 21–29. https://
23 O'Shea, M., Bassaganya-Riera, J., Mohede, I. (2004). Immunomodulatory Properties of Conjugated Linoleic Acid. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,79(6), 1199S–1206S. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/79.6.1199S
25 Sharma, H., Zhang, X., & Dwivedi, C. (2010). The Effect of Ghee (Clarified Butter) on Serum Lipid Levels and Microsomal Lipid Peroxidation. Ayu,
31(2), 134–140. doi:10.4103/0974-8520.72361
27 Kwak, Ganesan, & Mijan, Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products.
29 Sharma, Zhang, & Dwivedi, The Effect of Ghee (Clarified Butter) on Serum Lipid Levels and Microsomal Lipid Peroxidation.
30 Mohammadifard, N., Hosseini, M., Sajjadi, F., Maghroun, M., Boshtam, M., & Nouri, F. (2013). Comparison of Effects Of Soft Margarine, Blended, Ghee, and Unhydrogenated Oil With Hydrogenated Oil on Serum Lipids: A Randomized Clinical Trial. ARYA Atherosclerosis, 9(6), 363–371.