An FDA-approved preservative for food, oils and fats, this powerful antioxidant is mentioned in books such as Pearson and Shaw's Life Extension and Mann and Fowke's Wipe Out Herpes with BHT.
Why it is Recommended
BHT has been proven effective against every lipid-coated virus in animal and laboratory tests but few human studies have been conducted. It can be used as a preservative in the storage of oils that might otherwise tend to become rancid.
- Because of conflicting results, no one really knows what the cancer risk – if any – is from BHT. The possibility should not be ignored; anyone who uses BHT or any synthetic chemical should consider there may be consequences yet unknown from the use of non-naturally occuring chemicals.
- Most BHT users recommend that no one should take more than 2gm per day, some saying 1gm is the limit. It should probably also not be taken on an empty stomach.
- Avoid use in hepatitis or other liver problems.
- BHT is fat-soluble, so thin people may need less. Furthermore, 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 hemophilia or other clotting problems.
- Doses of BHT should start small and gradually increase. It is probably not harmful to stop abruptly, however, because BHT stays in the body for several weeks.
- A few people are chemically sensitive to BHT.
- 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.
- BHT can interact with other drugs. It can either increase or decrease their effects.
Counter-Indicators and WarningsNOTE:
Because of the lack of human studies, BHT should only be used experimentally and as a last resort in situations where other treatments have failed. BHT should not be used casually until further studies are conducted.