Ghee, Stem Cells, and Cholesterol

Stem cells build new tissue, repair broken parts, and fight aging and degeneration. In Ayurveda, agents that boost stem cells are known as rasayanas, and ghee is known as a longevity rasayana.

In This Article

Ayurveda Loves Ghee 

According to Ayurveda, ghee has been used for thousands of years as the healthiest source of edible fat.2 Ayurveda considers ghee a rasayana, an anti-aging substance that builds and rejuvenates the body for longevity.1 

Ghee Spoon

According to Ayurveda, ghee boosts digestive fire while improving absorption and assimilation. It builds ojas, the subtle essence of all tissues. Traditionally, is was used to improve memory and cognitive function while oleating or lubricating connective tissues, rendering the body more flexible. With regard to the three doshas (organizing or governing principles of the body), ghee pacifies vata and pitta and is acceptable for kapha in moderation.1-3 

Benefits of Ghee 

  1. A fat that does not raise cholesterol levels 
  2. Increases stem cells 
  3. A bio-enhancer of other nutrients 
  4. Extremely heat tolerant 
  5. Highest food source of butyric acid 

Ghee + Cholesterol 

Ghee consists of 47.8% saturated fat, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease (CAD). Because of this link, some researchers suggest ghee, commonly consumed in India today, is the cause of their rising levels of CAD. But one study reports that ghee is actually rarely used in modern India, as it is too expensive. For the past two decades, cheaper polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have replaced traditional use of ghee.1, 2 

lifespa-image-microbes-microbiome-ghee-fat-cleanse

Prior to their use of PUFAs, ghee was the primary fat for both cooking and consumption. A couple generations ago, India was known for having low levels of CAD-related concerns.1, 2 Today, Indians use a highly processed vegetable ghee called vanaspati, which is 40 trans fats, well known to increase risk of CAD.2 

Therefore, perhaps it is their movement away from ghee that is increasing cardiovascular risk! Numerous studies confirm consumption of ghee as high as 10% of the diet does not increase cholesterol levels nor incur oxidative damage.1, 2 

Ghee: Highest Food Source of Butyric Acid 

The name butter is derived from its most prevalent fatty acid, butyric acid. (The Latin word for butter is butyrum.) Ghee is made by boiling off water and milk solids from butter, leaving a purified butter that is the highest food source of butyric acid on the planet.  

Butyric acid is so important to our overall health, we have numerous microbes, such as Clostridium butyricum, that literally manufacture butyric acid or “ghee” in the gut.  

Benefits of Butyric Acid4 

bugs in gut second brain hands making heart over navel image
  • primary fuel for cells of the colon 
  • driver of gut immunity 
  • wards off bad bacteria 
  • boosts digestive strength 
  • supports healthy bowel movements 
  • balances blood sugar, weight + hunger 
  • is the major food for the gut microbiome 
  • boosts stem cells 

Ghee’s Butryic Acid Boosts Stem Cells 

Stem cells build new tissue, repair broken parts, and fight aging and degeneration. In Ayurveda, agents that boost stem cells are known as rasayanas, and ghee is known as a longevity rasayana. Perhaps this is because butyric acid has been shown to increase production mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow, one of the body’s major sources of stem cell production.5 

Another study shows that butyric acid (a short-chain fatty acid) increases adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) beneath the skin. In this study, butyric acid was shown to enhance stem cell adipogenesis (production of new fat cells). It had an integral interaction between the skin microbiome.6  

We recommend "How to Get the Butyric Acid Your Gut Requires with Ghee": https://lifespa.com/superfood-making-microbe/

Ghee is Heat Tolerant 

In a study to determine if ghee was heat tolerant, ghee heated to 120°F was compared to room temperature to determine if either raised cholesterol levels. Neither group saw increased cholesterol levels.1, 2 

Ghee as a Bio-Enhancer 

Ghee is used to prepare many Ayurvedic herbal formulations. Ghee is well known as a carrier of other nutrients, increasing their bioavailability and effectiveness. In Ayurveda, this is known as an anupaan, or vehicle.

An anupaan is therefore a food given with an herb to increase its effect.7 It is for this reason we add a small amount of black pepper to turmeric, boosting its absorption and potency. Combining foods and herbs to increase their action is called yogavahi in Ayurveda.7 

Ghee Takeaways 

Along with olive oil, ghee is my favorite fat for cooking, oleation during cleanses, and combining with herbs to enhance their potency. In fact, many of my vegan clients have become “gheegans”!

Do you use ghee in your daily life? What have you found? 

This article originally appeared in Elephant Journal.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5071963/ 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215354/
  3. Lad, V. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. New York: Harmony Books, 1998.
  4. https://lifespa.com/superfood-making-microbe/ 
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30456456 
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27498050 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3657948/ 

30 thoughts on “Ghee, Stem Cells, and Cholesterol”

  1. I buy one gallon of organic ghee per year and use it for cooking and cleanses. In my parent’s day, they bought margarine. I kicked margarine to the curb years ago as well as butter. My parent’s generation in the states didn’t have this information about fats & oils. Depending on what I’m cooking, sometimes I use olive oil, sometimes coconut oil, but I’ve learned to keep the heat down and cook foods slower. Oh, yeah, I look for those press dates on oils to help ensure they aren’t rancid.

    Thank you for all that you do, Dr. John.

    Reply
    • how do i use it to cleanse?

      understood with warm water first thing in the morning. But how much ghee should i use?

      Reply
    • Best for liver and gallbladder, but not good for vegans?
      What is next best on the list? Lard, tallow, butter… Where I am coming from, we use olive oil only for fresh salats. And as sunscreen protection……browning the meat. Coconut oil is good for oil pulling, but to eat, my body isn’t much compatible ( from south Europe). MCT oil from coconut is pure supplement. To strong( solvent). Good for detox together with toxin binders, if you know what are you doing. Margarine…..I need to hear one doctor saying, how is he sorry for messing people gallbladders last 50 years…..GMO, ultra processed with Hexane, nickel balls, high temperature and pressure. Good for cars? Robots?
      In Mexico, avocado production is out of control. Not much water left for people.
      I like sesame oil in Chinese, Thai, Korean cuisine…
      Sesame seeds are extremely full with Oxalates, so right now I avoid that. I don’t know for oil. What is left for vegans? Corn, soya, sunflower, rape, peanut, macadamia, walnut oil? People like to be lab mouses.

      Reply
      • Coconut oil is not good for your body??? very strange, this is all I can say.
        Coconut oil is good for everybody. You need to start slowly, on a piece of good bread, with a maximum of 5-6 ingredients(not when you see a list of 10-30 ingredients!). Be careful with olive oil, as most of it is blended with other oils. Margarine is an industrial, artificial fat. Proven without any doubt to be bad. Use Tofu, it’s good for vegans, 2-3 times a week. And you don’t need MCT oil, as Coconut Oil has it. You need Extra Virgin C. Oil, cold pressed, and organic.

        Reply
        • “You need to start slowly, on a piece of bread…” To many people don’t understand action of Coconut oil and MCT C8 oils. I was extremely toxic, so I had not luxury of not paying attention of what is really going on.
          Business making, Media hipe, ketones Mambo Jumbo. Bulletproof coffee and the rest. Coconut oil is “ a little” bit antibiotic to. MCT C8 oil, when taking first time a little to much: diarrhea. Why? MCT Oil is concentrated solvent. It will melt Styrofoam cup. Half population in USA have NAFLD ( non alcoholic fatty liver disease). Whatever Rockefeller medicine is telling you, what is really causing it, it is toxins. Ok, also missing necessary nutritions: choline, B vitamins, minerals, sulphur, fiber…etc. In Germany now, 50-60% of population has some genes detox problems. Even if both parents have intact genes. Enzymes use metal ions to change RNA, but when is to much or wrong metals…. Mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic…. act as short breaker. Very conductive. From other side, most dangerous toxins are fat soluble. School medicine doctors aren’t telling us that “bottle neck” of toxic blood is liver. Our oil filter. To much MCT oil, and you will ( possible for 50% of people now?) dissolve to much fat soluble toxins in liver. It will act also on toxic sludge in gallbladder, if it’s not emptying properly. Body will recognize extremely high amount of toxins, and will call for fast elimination. Simple enough?
          So, I can use MCT Oil for detox, if I know what is going on. Without good food, toxin binders, fibers,minerals, drinking morning Bulletproof coffee, can slowly overtime, deposit toxins from one place to another if not changed or eliminated. Of course, 100% of people, aren’t same. “Bread” with coconut oil as solution to mop up released toxins? Olive oil? I am from south Europe. Mediterranean. Sadly, nobody told me as a machinist, that metal dust is much more dangerous then government and Rockefeller science/doctors are telling us. That would be very bad for economy and taxes. NWO ( New World Order) will fix that? Hmm. They need some sort of control structure, but Pharmaceutical mafia ( Foxes) will watch over chickens again? All respect for Emergency and preventive medicine. Vaccines aren’t prevention. But up to date test are. “ Modern liver test” is from 1952…… ? Crocks.

          Reply
    • Never be so rigid in your beliefs. I am vegan too but there are certain things you cannot get in a vegan diet that makes the diet not as healthy as you might think. I don’t eat ghee but i do take an expensive form of butyric acid. Rigidity is very unhealthy.

      Reply
    • It’s super foods like ghee and honey that make me think vegans have gone too far in restricting their diet. You can have both ghee and honey and dairy without damaging the donor.

      Reply
    • Hi Martina,

      You are correct. Ghee is, however, great for those who usually cannot tolerate butter, as all of the larger and hard-to-digest cells have been removed from the butter to create the ghee.

      Best options for vegans will be organic extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, but there are not studies linking these oils to the same conclusions as ghee is linked in this article.

      You can learn more about those oils using the blog search on this website.

      Best,
      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
  2. I love ghee!!! I’m glad to hear it does not raise cholesterol. And all the benefits!
    Thank you Dr John for making Ayurvedic vocabulary and understanding so accessible!

    Reply
  3. The ghee I have has turned rancid quickly. Meaning over a month. I buy it from Sprouts, and use a small bit almost every day, but it doesn’t taste quite right now. I guess it has to be refrigerated, which isn’t convenient for my cooking style. Any ideas on this?

    Reply
  4. I use ghee to cook just about everything, and I make my own, which not only makes it more affordable, but especially enjoyable! It is a wonderful practice in itself. 🙏❤️🙏

    Reply
  5. Is there any solution for people that cannot handle gee and healthy oils? I have tried a lot of natural remedies and enzymes to help fat digestion but it still gives me loose and really smelly stools.Besides that, it gives me energy and nice skin. Any hope?
    Thanks

    Reply

Leave a Comment