BHT is Produced Naturally in Phytoplankton

T I read about BHT in your magazine, and as a result, I’m using it along with certain amino acids. My results are really good, so I’m going to keep using your BHT Plus.

BOB, Columbia, CA

A Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw have written (see Life Extension News,™ Volume 12 No. 5, October 2009):

BHT, butylated hydroxytoluene, has been used for decades as a food antioxidant additive for preservative purposes (as well as a material for experimental studies of life extension in animals). Many people, however, stay away from anything containing BHT because of a concern about its synthetic nature. Recently, however, a group of researchers discovered that four freshwater phytoplankton, including a green alga and three cyanobacteria, produce BHT as an antioxidant:1 the researchers found that the quantity of cellular BHT displayed a positive correlation with the antioxidant activity of the tested species. The scientists suggested that “these species constitute a potential source for producing natural BHT.” True, but a molecule of natural BHT is the same as a molecule of synthetic BHT, so it really doesn’t matter who produced it, man or phytoplankton.

Reference

  1. Babu and Wu. Production of natural butylated hydroxytoluene as an antioxidant by freshwater phytoplankton. J Phycol 44:1447-54 (2008).

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