Butter Leads to Lower Blood Fats Than Olive Oil, Study Finds
Editor’s note: This article goes under the heading as we learn more. Or, what we thought we knew, we really didn ‘t.
ScienceDaily (Feb. 10, 2010) — High blood fat levels normally raise the cholesterol values in the blood, which in turn elevates the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack. Now a new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that butter leads to considerably less elevation of blood fats after a meal compared with olive oil and a new type of canola and flaxseed oil. The difference was stronger in men than in women.
The main explanation for the relatively low increase of blood fat levels with butter is that about 20 percent of the fat in butter consists of short and medium-length fatty acids. These are used directly as energy and therefore never affect the blood fat level to any great extent. Health care uses these fatty acids with patients who have difficulty taking up nutrition — in other words, they are good fatty acids.
“A further explanation, which we are speculating about, is that intestinal cells prefer to store butter fat rather than long-chain fatty acids from vegetable oils. However, butter leads to a slightly higher content of free fatty acids in the blood, which is a burden on the body,” explains Julia Svensson, a doctoral candidate in Biotechnology and Nutrition at Lund University.
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