I’ve always recommended eating real butter. Even when the chemical “geniuses” came up with so-called “healthy” spreads.
Mainly, it’s because any artificial food–no matter what “good stuff” is added to it–contains chemicals.
And it turns out that one of the chemicals in fake butter “flavoring,” called diacetyl, seems to be a catalyst for Alzheimer’s disease.
This same chemical has been linked to respiratory problems in factory workers at popcorn and food flavoring plants.
But recently a team of researchers, from the University of Minnesota, discovered that diacetyl has a chemical structure similar to a substance that makes beta-amyloid proteins clump together in the brain.
This chemical easily penetrated what’s known as the “blood-brain barrier”–which exists solely to protect the brain from toxins. In fact, diacetyl disabled a substance, called glycoxalase I., from protecting nerve cells in the brain.
And their studies showed that diacetyl did, in fact, increase this beta-amyloid clumping. Which directly increases the risk of Alzheimer’s.
It’s terrible news for those factory workers. And for anyone who uses those “butter flavored” products.
Promise me you’ll toss out the microwave popcorn. (Popcorn isn’t a good snack anyway–with or without artificial butter flavor. Cattle are fed corn to fatten them up before the slaughter. What does that tell you?)
And if you love the taste of butter, by all means–indulge in the real deal.
“The Butter Flavorant, Diacetyl, Exacerbates ß-Amyloid Cytotoxicity,” Chemical Research in Toxicology 2012; July 6 (epub ahead of print)