Dr Sears' Comments On Palmitic Acid

I just listened to Dave's podcast with Dr Sears, interesting stuff but Sears' comments on palmitic acid kinda freaked me out. Dave asked him about his thoughts on butter and he said that he likes the CLA and stearic acid content but the problem is palmitic acid, that it's highly pro-inflammatory. He said on an inflammatory scale of 1-10 he gives it a 15. Yikes.


 


So, I have a few questions:


 


- is anyone else concerned about this?


 


- is there a reason I should not be concerned about this?


 


- if I wanted to try bulletproof coffee without grassfed butter, any reasonable substitutes that don't have palmitic acid or have it in much lower quantities?


 


I'm on a pretty clean diet from a bulletproof perspective but I do have some lingering inflammatory issues I'm trying to get on top of, and now I'm wondering if BPC with grassfed butter might be contributing to them. I'm interested in folks' thoughts on this.


 


below is the section of the transcript on this:


 


What I don’t like about butter is that it’s really rich in palmitic acid. Now stearic acid I actually like because stearic acid once it’s absorbed is rapidly desaturated into oleic acid. That’s why stearic acid is the only saturated fat that will not raise cholesterol. Now palmitic acid it’s almost the same. It’s about the same, it’s almost totally different. Palmitic acid is a very, very powerful pro-inflammatory saturated fat. On the scale of 1 to 10 I give it a 15, because it can interact with specific receptors in cells and the same receptors that basically recognize the fragments of the gram-negative bacteria, lipopolysaccharides, they basically recognize the palmitic acid.


 


Furthermore, the palmitic acid is one that can interact with our hypothalamus and disrupt the satiety signals. That’s why when you look at animal studies when you feed them a high fat diet that’s usually high in saturated fat, they get fat very rapidly. Why? They start eating. It’s saying that if I could find saturated … Let’s say coconut oil, one of the good things about coconut oil is very low in palmitic acid. Therefore, okay, I’m not going to have the inflammatory effects. Unfortunately, basically will have some effects if I take too much and then I’ll wipe out my glycogen stores. But as a saturated fat it’s not bad.


 


Butter has some good parts because it has the conjugated linoleic acid, but it also has the palmitic acid. Again, we basically have to look, weigh the consequences.


 


Dave:  One of the early reasons that I included at first just regular MCT and eventually I realized that some MCTs don’t metabolize the same ways as others. I use just one of the 4 kind of MCT now, the brain octane, the C8, but that type of MCT actually is protective in the presence of lipopolysaccharides and palmitic acid, which is present in butter, enhances lipopolysaccharide absorption. LPSs are made by bad bacteria in the gut just for people listening.


Comments

  • rmathesrmathes ✭✭
    edited April 2016



     


    Yep, but there was only one post on this topic and it got lost in the shuffle as the main discussion was about the effect of mct oil on liver glycogen stores. I thought this was sufficiently important to merit its own topic. The one post on that topic about this subject said this:


     


    2nd.  If you listen to the podcast with Mark Hyman, which was aired first, but recorded after, they actually talk about the the "inflammatory" aspect of butter.  Mostly Barry Sears was afraid of butter because of the Palmatic Acid, which is inflammatory.


    Mark Hyman clarified that Palmatic acid does cause inflammation, but only if it is increased in the blood.  And according to research eating palmatic acid in butter, does NOT increase the levels in the blood. 


     


    That was good information. I listened to that podcast but didn't remember that being discussed so I went to the transcript. Hyman basically said that palmitic acid is created in the body via a process called lipogenesis, and that the primary drivers of that process are sugar, fructose and refined carbs, so if we're not eating those things, then we can eat plenty of grassfed butter and not worry about increasing palmitic acid levels.


     


    Is the consensus here that Hyman is correct and this is a non-issue?


     


    Just for grins I think I'm going to try an experiment for a week. My normal bpc habit is to make about 28 ounces of bulletproof coffee using Dave's beans, put that in a blender with about a fourth of a bar of Kerrygold butter and 2 tablespoons of MCT oil, blend it all up, then fill up a 12 ounce cup to have first thing, the rest goes into a Contigo travel mug to sip through the rest of the morning. For a few weeks I might just make one cup of coffee then put it in a blender with some of Dave's upgraded whey protein and cacao powder and a tablespoon of MCT and have a morning bulletproof smoothie. I just don't like black coffee, but I could drink that, do it for a week, see if I feel a difference then go back to my current method and see if anything else changes.


  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭
    edited April 2016


    Just for grins I think I'm going to try an experiment for a week. My normal bpc habit is to make about 28 ounces of bulletproof coffee using Dave's beans, put that in a blender with about a fourth of a bar of Kerrygold butter and 2 tablespoons of MCT oil, blend it all up, then fill up a 12 ounce cup to have first thing, the rest goes into a Contigo travel mug to sip through the rest of the morning. For a few weeks I might just make one cup of coffee then put it in a blender with some of Dave's upgraded whey protein and cacao powder and a tablespoon of MCT and have a morning bulletproof smoothie. I just don't like black coffee, but I could drink that, do it for a week, see if I feel a difference then go back to my current method and see if anything else changes.




     


    a fasting full cholesterol panel, before and after, would be interesting as well, if you could swing it


    fake it till you make it

  • I actually just had a full cholesterol panel done for a medical insurance exam. I assumed everything would look pretty good except for cholesterol. I'd estimate that 50% of my calories are saturated fat. Here's how my numbers looked:


     


    Total cholesterol: 263


    HDL: 61


    LDL: 179


    Cholesterol/HDL ratio: 4.3


    LDL/HDL ratio: 2.95


    Triglycerides: 111


     


    Then a few others I found interesting that I'm not sure how to interpret:


     


    BUN: 20 (which is on the high end of the normal range)


    Creatinine: .8


    Urine PH: 5.8


    Protein: 4 (which is on the low end of normal)


    Protein to Creatinine ratio: 70


     


    I didn't get my inflammatory markers checked as part of this test, but the last time I had them checked about a year ago, my c-reactive protein, lipoprotein and homocysteine were all in optimal ranges.  One thing I haven't had checked is omega 3 to 6 levels. I did order Sears' inflammatory marker test measuring AA/EPA levels, which he claims is a solid metric for inflammation.

  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭

    ok. so just post experiment testing, if you can swing it


    fake it till you make it

  • I suspect that butter isn't the worst thing in the world in moderation, but also not a super food that everyone should make a primary staple. I think the butter hype is largely sensationalism, capitalizing on the bounce back from the low fat era. I put a small amount in my coffee sometimes cause it tastes good, and cook with a bit of ghee. No big deal.
  • Look, you can find palmitic acid fractionated lipopolysaccharides in almost every top soil in the world.  Guess what?  There's no butter in the top soil.  He's actually got it backwards.  CLA has been shown to create proinflammatory cytokines when LPS crosses the mucosal barrier, not palmitic acid.  Why does everyone think they are a gut health expert all the sudden?  Why can't they stick to their macronutrient wars?


  • wait, so CLA is inflammatory, wtf? Just when I thought I was getting a handle on this....


     


    and fyi, I canceled the blood test from Sears' shop and ordered this one from LEF:


     


    http://www.lifeextension.com/Vitamins-Supplements/itemLCOMEGA/Omega-Check


     


    it tests for AA/EPA, but also gives you total omega 6 vs omega 3 and a bunch of other numbers, including total blood levels of palmitic acid and it's only $25 more.


  • Just to be clear: if you have leaky gut, and endotoxin is getting into your blood stream, then yes, CLA has been shown to raise inflammatory markers.  If you don't have leaky gut, then CLA has been shown to increase "brown fat" providing a metabolic advantage.


     


    I am not trying to confuse anyone here, and probably shouldn't have posted the above comment.  I have been writing about LPS, specifically, for a long time now, and I am starting to see other people throw it around to prove their agendas.  Not just Dr. Sear, but a whole lot of other MDs and PhDs too.  I really wish they wouldn't do that, because I am trying to create an awareness of LPS and it's health implications, and they are muddling the waters with their misinformation.  I don't know.  It's probably not a big deal.  Who cares, right?


  • thanks Jason. I would imagine if one has leaky gut that all kinds of things that are healthful when properly contained in the gut can be harmful if they leak out of it.


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