Superfoods That Destroy Inflammation in Your Brain

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What if all chronic disease – cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and age-related cognitive decline – were rooted in one thing? A concept like this just might flip everything we know about medicine on its head.

And it’s true.

Systemic inflammation is the common link between all of these conditions and more. And the craziest part? Inflammation totally preventable.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s innate response to injury, stress, or illness.

Poor gut function or eating a processed, high-toxin, high-sugar diet can induce an inflammatory response. Certain medications and environmental toxins aren’t doing you any favors either. When the stress response from crappy food and a toxic environment becomes the norm for your body, inflammation becomes a low-level feature in your physiology and problems arise.

When I was fat, tired, and suffering from cognitive decline, low-level systemic inflammation was at the root of all of it. When I changed my diet and started managing my stress, the weight started to fall off and my performance shot through the roof.

A lot of that had to do with adding nutrient-dense foods to my diet.

REAL Superfoods

Clever but ill-informed marketers will name almost any unusual food a “superfood.” A popular book puts soy, oats, and beans on the super foods list. Give me a break. Goji berries? Did you know they are actually in the nightshade family like tomatoes and can cause inflammation in a large percentage of people?

The truth of the matter is that real superfoods have science behind them and when you eat them, you can feel a difference quickly.

In particular, there are a few foods that take your focus and energy to new levels, all while increasing cognitive function and lowering inflammation. Some of my favorites include butter, coffee, vanilla, and chocolate. I know, it sounds too good to be true, but this is real.

Quality matters

Before you think about any food’s anti-inflammatory properties, keep in mind we are talking about high-quality food. In The Bulletproof Diet, you’ll learn that the quality of your food is so much more important than how many calories you consume.

The higher the quality, the more nutrition that food provides and your body will respond in kind, revving up its fat burning capabilities and naturally regulating your caloric intake.

Lower quality foods often have toxins or inflammatory agents in them, which initiates an inflammatory response in your body.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite superfoods – all Bulletproof Diet-approved and damn delicious.


Bulletproof Coffee is a perfect way to ignite your focus in the morning. Due to its antioxidant and caffeine content, and the fact that it contains two unique and potent neurological agents, you can keep a steady focus. Caffeine is more than an energy booster – caffeine may help ease cognitive decline and block inflammation in the brain.(19)

Another study came to similar conclusions. According to Professor Gregory Freund from the University of Illinois “We have discovered a novel signal that activates… brain-based inflammation…and caffeine appears to block its activity.”(9)

Along with fighting cognitive diseases, caffeine and coffee increase insulin sensitivity in healthy humans.(7, 11-13) Insulin sensitivity is correlated with how well your body responds to certain kinds of inflammation.

Coffee is the world’s number one source of antioxidants, and for this reason it is a staple in the Bulletproof Diet. The problem is that 91.7% of coffee beans (from South America in the study) contain mold toxins and 50% of coffees brewed contain toxins, which induces an inflammatory response.(20-21) If you want to upgrade your cognitive performance, Upgraded Coffee, tested for mold toxins, is the only way to go.

Drinking the right coffee has short and long-term effects on your brain. The short-term effect of coffee on mood may be due to altered serotonin and dopamine activity, whereas the mechanisms behind its potential long-term effects on mood may relate to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.(22-25)


Butter is an unexpected source of cognitive enhancement, and contains one ingredient that studies show is beneficial for cognitive function and gut health called butyrate. Butyrate is a short chain saturated fat and anti-inflammatory. According to three studies, the most common class of genetic neurodegenerative diseases are delayed in mice with the treatment of butyrate.(1-3)

Butyrate protects against intestinal permeability in rat models of ulcerative colitis.(4) This shows that short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate, play an important role in the maintenance of gut barrier integrity. Butyrate also sharply reduces the harmful effects of type 1 diabetes in rats.(5)

Butyrate may also prevent and treat diet-induced insulin resistance in mice. Butyrate is related to promotion of energy expenditure and induction of mitochondria function.(6)

The highest concentration of butyrate may be found in high quality grass-fed butter. I highlight the benefits of grass-fed butter in comparison to grain-fed butter in this infographic. Kerrygold is my butter of choice, but any brand may suffice as long as it is grass-fed (organic isn’t enough and is typically a sham if the cows eat organic soy and corn).

Vanilla and chocolate

Vanilla is a great food to add into your diet if you are looking for a cognitive boost. Vanilloids found in vanilla can help maintain healthy levels of inflamation, and are a great add-in for coffee or dessert.(14-16)

Chocolate, along with coffee, is very high in antioxidants and contains toxins if not processed and stored delicately. This is another food that it is vital to get in high quality and at a cacao content of at least 70% in order to reap the benefits. Chocolate favorably alters eicosanoid synthesis, which inhibits vascular and inflammatory processes.(17)

Coffee, Butter, Vanilla, and Chocolate are ideal foods for people looking to get an edge in the workplace. These foods fight unneeded inflammation and turn your brain into an upgraded machine. They are also the core ingredients of almost all truly excellent desserts.  🙂

Now this is the part of the post where I am supposed to convince you to get the obsessively produced stuff at, but that is not what I want you to do. Instead, challenge yourself to completely avoid high-sugar, bad-fat, high-processed foods for a week as you pay extra attention to your cognitive function.  Then, if you want an added boost, add Upgraded products back in, and feel the difference.  Want to quantify it?  Design your own experiment and share it in the comments below.

If you are like most people, you will be sharper in the workplace and more efficient at what you do. Not only that, you will have more STEADY energy and will not feel as hungry as you would eating low quality food. By avoiding inflammatory foods now, you will begin to make your mind and body bulletproof.

If you have any questions about inflammatory foods, or a story to share about inflammation please add it in the comments below or post them in our Bulletproof Forum. There are many smart Bulletproof Practitioners there that may answer any of your questions.


Click to read the complete list of references.


1.     Ferrante RJ, Kubilus JK, Lee J, Ryu H, Beesen A, Zucker B, Smith K, Kowall NW, Ratan RR, Luthi-Carter R, Hersch SM. Histone deacetylase inhibition by sodium butyrate chemotherapy ameliorates the neurodegenerative phenotype in Huntington’s disease mice.J Neurosci. 2003 Oct 15;23(28):9418-27. PubMed PMID: 14561870.

2.     Ying M, Xu R, Wu X, Zhu H, Zhuang Y, Han M, Xu T. Sodium butyrate ameliorates histone hypoacetylation and neurodegenerative phenotypes in a mouse model for DRPLA. J Biol Chem. 2006 May 5;281(18):12580-6. Epub 2005 Dec 28. PubMed PMID: 16407196.

3.     Minamiyama M, Katsuno M, Adachi H, Waza M, Sang C, Kobayashi Y, Tanaka F, Doyu M, Inukai A, Sobue G. Sodium butyrate ameliorates phenotypic expression in a transgenic mouse model of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy. Hum Mol Genet. 2004 Jun 1;13(11):1183-92. Epub 2004 Apr 21. PubMed PMID: 15102712.

4.     Kumar C, Rachappaji K, Nandini C, Sambaiah K, Salimath P. Modulatory effect of butyric acid-a product of dietary fiber fermentation in experimentally induced diabetic rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2002 Sep;13(9):522. PubMed PMID: 12231422.

5.     Zhanguo Gao, Jun Yin, Jin Zhang, Robert E. Ward, Roy J. Martin, Michael Lefevre, William T. Cefalu and Jianping Ye. Butyrate Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Increases Energy Expenditure in Mice. Diabetes  2009 July
Antioxidant and Gene Regulation Laboratory, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, Louisiana;

6.     Kanauchi O, Iwanaga T, Mitsuyama K, Saiki T, Tsuruta O, Noguchi K, Toyonaga A. Butyrate from bacterial fermentation of germinated barley foodstuff preserves intestinal barrier function in experimental colitis in the rat model. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1999 Sep;14(9):880-8. PubMed PMID: 10535469.

7.     Rebello, Salome, Cynthia Chen, Nasheen Nadoo, Wang Xu, and Kee Sang Chia. “Coffee and Tea Consumption in Relation to Inflammation and Basal Glucose Metabolism in a Multi-ethnic Asian Population: A Cross-sectional Study.”NutritionJ. N.p., n.d. Web. Oct. 2012. <>.

8.     Soderberg LS, Boger S, Fifer EK, Gilbert KM. Macrophage production of inflammatory mediators is potently inhibited by a butyric acid derivative demonstrated to inactivate antigen-stimulated T cells. Int Immunopharmacol. 2004 Sep;4(9):1231-9. PubMed PMID: 15251119.

9.     Chiu GS, Chatterjee D, Darmody PT, Walsh JP, Meling DD, Johnson RW, Freund GG. Hypoxia/Reoxygenation Impairs Memory Formation via Adenosine-Dependent Activation of Caspase 1. J Neurosci. 2012 Oct 3;32(40):13945-55. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0704-12.2012. PubMed PMID: 23035103; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3476834.

10.   Systemic Inflammation Induces Acute Behavioral and Cognitive Changes and Accelerates Neurodegenerative Disease Colm Cunningham, Suzanne Campion, Katie Lunnon, Carol L. Murray, Jack F.C. Woods, Robert M.J. Deacon, J. Nicholas P. Rawlins, V. Hugh Perry  Biological psychiatry 15 February 2009 (volume 65 issue 4 Pages 304-312 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.07.024)

11.   Loopstra-Masters RC, Liese AD, Haffner SM, Wagenknecht LE, Hanley AJ. Associations between the intake of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and measures of insulin sensitivity and beta cell function. Diabetologia. 2011 Feb;54(2):320-8. Epub 2010 Nov 3. PubMed PMID: 21046357.

12.   Keijzers GB, De Galan BE, Tack CJ, Smits P. Caffeine can decrease insulin sensitivity in humans. Diabetes Care. 2002 Feb;25(2):364-9. PubMed PMID: 11815511.

13.   Rebello SA, Chen CH, Naidoo N, Xu W, Lee J, Chia KS, Tai ES, van Dam RM. Coffee and tea consumption in relation to inflammation and basal glucose metabolism in a multi-ethnic Asian population: a cross-sectional study. Nutr J. 2011 Jun 2;10:61. PubMed PMID: 21631956; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3130641.

14.   Vanilloids. 1. Analogs of capsaicin with antinociceptive and antiinflammatory activity. John M. Janusz, Brian L. Buckwalter, Patricia A. Young, Thomas R. LaHann, Ralph W. Farmer, Gerald B. Kasting, Maurice E. Loomans, Gary A. Kerckaert, Cherie S. Maddin. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 1993 36 (18), 2595-2604

15.   Pal M, Angaru S, Kodimuthali A, Dhingra N. Vanilloid receptor antagonists: emerging class of novel anti-inflammatory agents for pain management. Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(9):1008-26. Review. PubMed PMID: 19275664.

16.   Schramm DD, Wang JF, Holt RR, Ensunsa JL, Gonsalves JL, Lazarus SA, Schmitz HH, German JB, Keen CL. Chocolate procyanidins decrease the leukotriene-prostacyclin ratio in humans and human aortic endothelial cells. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Jan;73(1):36-40. PubMed PMID: 11124747.

17.  Kiecolt-Glaser JK. Stress, food, and inflammation: psychoneuroimmunology and nutrition at the cutting edge. Psychosom Med. 2010 May;72(4):365-9. Epub 2010 Apr 21. Review. PubMed PMID: 20410248; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2868080.

18.  Fritsche K. Fatty acids as modulators of the immune response. Annu Rev Nutr. 2006;26:45-73. Review. PubMed PMID: 16848700.

19.  Koppelstaetter, F. Influence of Caffeine Excess on Activation Patterns in Verbal Working Memory

20.   Martins ML, Martins HM, Gimeno A. Incidence of microflora and of ochratoxin A in green coffee beans (Coffea arabica). Food Addit Contam. 2003 Dec;20(12):1127-31. PubMed PMID: 14726276

21.   Studer-Rohr I, Dietrich DR, Schlatter J, Schlatter C. The occurrence of ochratoxin A in coffee. Food Chem Toxicol. 1995 May;33(5):341-55. PubMed PMID: 7759018.

22.   Lucas M, Mirzaei F, Pan A, et al. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of depression among women. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171:1571-1578. Abstract

23.   Pasco JA, Nicholson GC, Williams LJ, et al. Association of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein with de novo major depression. Br J Psychiatry. 2010;197:372-377. Abstract

24.   Ng F, Berk M, Dean O, Bush AI. Oxidative stress in psychiatric disorders: evidence base and therapeutic implications. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2008;11:851-876. Abstract

25.   O’Connor A. Coffee drinking linked to less depression in women. New York Times. February 13, 2012. Accessed January 11, 2012.

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By Dave Asprey

  • Sor

    Great post as always, Dave. Would love to see you back on the JRE!

  • Zak

    Great post! I am anxiously awaiting my total upgrade kit…

  • ninjaRob

    I am not where I want to be yet but this has been an amazing ride since finding Dave Asprey on JRE. I had what felt like an energy robbing sinus infection at high altitude that wouldn’t allow the pressure in head to adapt for 2 years and I didn’t understand it at all.

    Inside 2 months, I had my first days of clear sinuses and head since so long that I had forgotten what it was like, no money for drugs, just butter and everything else in the anti-inflammatory bulletproof diet.

  • abelcsabai

    somebody help please: any time I experiment with a high fat low carb diet, my digestions just getting screwed up within 2 days, I can’t go to the toilet for days, and as I get back on more fruits, it gets solved within 5 minutes. What is going on?
    Might it be that there are so many toxins in the fatty food that I can get here in Holland that it will never work out here?

    • Abright

      Some people that experience digestive issues may be low on stomach acids, as well as needing to ramp up slowly to high fat, rather than cold turkey. Some have found it beneficial to ramp up more slowly while also taking digestive enzymes.

    • Larry Huang

      Do you have enough fiber in your diet? Leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and/or artichoke could help. They’re also in the green as a part of the bulletproof diet. Something else you can try for digestion in general is a greens supplement with probiotics (search greens supplement in amazon and you’ll come up with a bunch). It always seems to do the trick for me when my digestive system is out of whack.

    • skg

      I think it is a big mistake to avoid fruits in the diet. not sure why the paleo crowd avoids it.

      • Sonia W

        Due to the high fructose content which may not only impact liver function but will lead to unnecessary spikes in blood glucose and then insulin and etcetera….
        Having said this, bulletproof isn’t paleo (a) and the paleo diet doesn’t avoid fruit necessarily but eats sensible amounts depending on specific goals for the individual (b).

        • Factotum

          Since the most nutritious portion of an apple is the skin, I carefully wash an apple, pare the skin off and dice the peel up and toss in a salad, throwing the fructose laden pulp in the trash. Delicious and adds a nice crispy crunch to my standard lunch, a “meat salad”. The latter has ~2oz of a meat, lots of fibrous salad veggies, and lots of good oils. Oh, yes, include some avacado, cottage cheese, parmesian, and ajvar! Yum.

      • abright

        Limiting fructose is generally a good idea. Sonia is right on. Here is something Dave wrote on the topic:

    • Chris

      Your gut flora and digestive acids probably haven’t got the chops for it if your microbiotia aren’t balanced. Get a good probiotic and consider trying some digestive enzymes until you get it sorted. You shouldn’t need fructose to kick it back into gear, and you can get your fibre from veg.

  • Ben Greenfield

    Vanilla is good stuff – discovered that powder at your event. Hot damn.

  • skg

    what do you think about ghee, which is clarified butter? seems like it should be even better than butter since it has all the impurities removed.

    • abright

      Ghee is a good option too, especially if you are casein sensitive, and the ghee is grass-fed!

  • Thomas Johnson

    Feeling sharper sounds great but unless the difference is massive I have a hard time telling whether the difference is actually there or not. Are there tests that quantify the type of inflammation you’re talking about?

    • kamerdoc23

      Homocysteine and CRP are good markers for systemic inflammation.

  • Most excellent post. Loving your bulletproof coffee!!
    This post suggests that goji berries are a source of inflamation. I grind up and put 1 Tbsp in a shake every day. About out and buying a new bag. Wondering if I should skip this. Any thoughts??

    • Garrett K

      Dave speaks about Goji Berries, and their coming from the nightshade family, and to generally avoid them.

      How do you, personally feel, before and after eating them? Or having a day (or 3) when you eat them, and a day (or 3) when you don’t. Does your thinking change? Does your body feel better / worse on days when you consume them / don’t consume them? 🙂

  • Donny

    Can raw cacao butter substitute the grass fed butter? Smacking the choclate and butter in one. I’m not lazy, it’s just impossible to get grass fed butter in my country.

    • Ashwin Murali

      It tastes great but lacks butyrate.

  • Dave, do you have anything to say in regards to coffee causing adrenal fatigue after prolonged use? I recently gave up coffee (almost a week ago) as I was having severe bouts of tiredness and burning eyes. I have not experienced this since being off the coffee (though I’m fighting some withdrawal symptoms). Any suggestions?

    • Ashwin Murali

      Few suggestions for remedying this:
      – Remove all caffeine for a week then slowly reintroduce it.
      – Sea Salt in water first thing in the morning to minimize adrenal fatigue (I eyeball my dose between 1/2 to 1 tsp)
      – Ensure caffeine source is low toxin. (BP coffee or chocolate and/or green tea)
      – Add 3000 IU Vitamin D in the AM
      – If possible, test thyroid hormones.
      //keep in mine this is just what worked for me. take it with a grain of salt, or a teaspoon 😉

      • I have no idea if I actually have adrenal fatigue or not. I just read that caffeine may cause it and it sounded like my symptoms so I just gave it a shot. So far, the symptoms are clearing up. I’ll try the sea salt and Vitamin D and I’ll try some bulletproof coffee next week. Thanks.

    • You might need to supplement with magnesium.

      I’m fairly sure I had a magnesium deficiency, possibly induced from coffee depleting the mineral, and all of the targeted though (mild) symptoms I had have reversed since I started supplementing.

      Also, I would suggest upping the butter content (to slow caffeine absorption) and/or lowering the caffeination (I do decaf or half-caf BPCs all the time).

      • Dave Asprey

        There is no doubt that mycotoxins will contribute to adrenal fatigue. On the other hand, coffee is associated with fixing dry eyes, but mycotoxins are associated with causing them. The big question here is whether you were drinking upgraded coffee, or coffee that was likely contaminated. The magnesium flushing problem with coffee also seems much worse with mycotoxins present, but I do supplement with magnesium, and extra salt. I have recovered from severe adrenal exhaustion, and I can drink a half a liter of bullet proof copy every day, with less than five hours of sleep, and not experience severe adrenal fatigue.

  • Troy J

    oh NO! Goji’s are no good?

    • Bob

      Glad I read this. I was thinking of trying them and I am very allergic to nightshades. I have reacted to them the very first time I ate some of them.

  • Jesper

    Do you have a suggestion if I want to avoid meat – how to combine nuts and vegetables? I’m not a vegetarian, but I like the ease of nuts and eggs instead of meat (and the difference in price), but I’m not sure how to have the proper ratio of different nuts, vegetables and eggs to get the right constalation of fats and alkalizing/acid foods. Hope you have a suggestion. Thanks!

    • Dave Asprey

      You are going to get hosed by excess omega 6 oils and lack of saturated fat on that diet. Adding more yolks is a good idea, but if you eat them every day, you face allergies…

      • DalmatianSam

        I’ve heard that before. If you eat too much of something (especially within the allergen group) you risk allergies. I’ve even had a friend say they got a nut allergy cuz they ate nuts too often. I wonder why some eat eggs everyday and have no problems and others get allergies.

        • Ray King

          I think it’s because of what way the hens are fed more than anything.
          I live on an egg farm and we produce eggs from hens that are not injected with anti biotics and not fed GM corn.

          They are fed corn, but it’s certainly NOT GM corn with added minerals from seaweed and oyster shells.
          So, what does this tell us?

          To me it says that it’s not actually the food that gives someone an allergy, it’s what they are giving the animal.

          I had to stop eating pork that I was getting from the supermarket, because it gave me crazy inflammation that when I turned my neck, even just a little bit it hurt me.

          All the farmers give the pigs hormones, so all this information about MEAT being bad for people is incorrect, it’s all down to WHAT the farmer is doing to the animal.

          Doesn’t this make more sense?

        • Michele

          I am deathly allergic to penicillin and long after learning of my allergy to chicken, I learned that they pumped chickens FULL of penicillin to keep them from spreading disease while breeding in cramped quarters for overproduction!

    • Michael A

      Grass-fed meat can be cheap is purchased in bulk, from a farmer (think 1/4-1/2 cow if you have a chest freezer). Grass-fed meat from Trader Joe’s is $6.99/lb and almond are about $5, so beef isn’t terrible.

      If you’re really low on cash, might I suggest eating lots of creamed veggies made with Kerrygold? Veggies are super cheap and just 3 tbsp of Kerrygold (About $0.60) and 1lb of veggies ($1-2) makes a decent-sized meal with a pretty damn good omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Steam the veggies (I use kale, spinach, cauliflower, and/or broccoli) and then blend with the Kerrygold. Mmm mm.

      • Jesper Ellegård

        Thank you both.

      • Jason

        Be careful with that grass-fed beef at Trader Joe’s. I avoid their fresh grass-fed beef because I do not trust beef that says it is from 3 different countries. However, they have an excellent grass-fed beef in the freezer section that comes from New Zealand for only $5.99.

        • Thanks for advice. Trader Joe’s frozen grass fed beef is miles ahead to the “fresh” stuff behind the counter. The price on Kerrygold also rocks.i

        • StasiasOrganic

          You can also get extremely high quality GreenFed beef ( fed 100% grass, forbes, legumes, non gmo), from Jordan Rubin’s new company- . They are hand-picked cows from New Zealand & are also all A2 cows. ( A1 cows are all conventional & as are most others. The a1 gene is a genetic mutation that causes tons of health issues. Read ” the Devil in the Milk” for more info.) Jordan’s beef is more expensive, but is the highest quality & cleanest beef I have ever seen around.

    • Joy

      try hempseed for some omega 3s as well. maybe find a nutritionist

  • Seafood and sea vegetables would be other valuable “brain foods.”

    • Rawstagirl

      as long as they are not full of heavy metals and farmed. Most fish now a days are full of radiation from fukashima and man made pollution.

  • Geminiflight

    Dude thx so much for helping this go MAINTSTREAM… this is something I started experimenting with on my own about 8 years ago but it was minimally science backed and more based on experiential input… if I felt shitty and couldn’t think straight I’d make a note of what I ate (and other conditions) and if I ate something and felt good and clearer in thought I’d make a note and then start steering towards the latter. 8 years later I feel amazing most of the time because I follow your same line of thinking/exploration and the rest of the time- well not everyone can be perfect and at least I KNOW why I don’t feel top notch and how to feel better! Anyway, thanks again for spreading the word

  • JJ

    Dave, can you speak of your opinion of Dr. Mark Hyman’s Ultramind Solution, if you’ve read it?

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  • Dacki

    dave, weren’t you in talks with a designer to get this crappy theme redone to match the branding of your products? This theme is horrendous and should be updated asap!

    • Dave Asprey

      This theme is a pox on the Internet. The web design team is behind schedule and I am not particularly pleased by it. Stay tuned, I will fix it shortly. ?

  • I’ve recently had to switch away from butter because of casein sensitivity (I guess this makes me even more “paleo”, ironically!) This has led me to explore ghee/clarified butter. For this post I’ll point out that ghee actually has a higher yield of butyrate than normal butter — about 4.3% instead of 3.5% (or a 22% boost). This makes perfect sense since that’s about the difference in weight from eliminating the water and casein proteins, and the butyrate survives the heating/skimming process.

    • Nickolas

      yes ghee is far superior to butter but hardly a superfood due to synthetic estrogen

      • Garrett K

        Source on ghee having synthetic estrogen?

  • grace

    In the section on butter/butyrate above you state:

    Butyrate prevents the loss of intestinal permeability in rat models of ulcerative colitis.(4)

    I read that sentence over several times and kept coming to the conclusion that it should either say ‘promotes’ rather than ‘prevents’ or the words ‘the loss of’ should be omitted. As it is written it implies that butter causes intestinal permeability. I assume that is not what was meant. Neither humans nor mice want a permeable intestine.

    • abright


  • Miked

    What form of vanilla do you recommend?

    • erreco

      Raw vanilla bean.

  • What form of vanilla? Is Vanilla extract ok, and are there different grades like the coffee and chocolates?

  • Hi Dave,

    I’m a total believer of just about all of the Bulletproof findings and methodology (I drink Bulletproof Coffee everyday and am saving up for a Vibration Plate for starters) and I don’t believe that your articles are slanted in the direction of your branded products but just being devil’s advocate here I was wondering if through your research you found other brain inflammation “destroying” superfoods apart from butter, coffee, chocolate and vanilla? Plan on writing a followup article?


  • EZE

    Are there any negative side effects with pregnant women drinking bulletproof coffee?

  • August

    What can one do to minimise the damage if gluten or grains consumption occurs (either inadvertantly or unavoidably…)?

  • Butyrate also comes from the fermentation of soluble fiber in the gut. Just another reason to eat your veggies.

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  • Factotum

    Since cocoa & vanilla are great for you, why not add them to your bulletproof coffee?? I find it ‘upgrades’ the flavor of the basic recipe.

  • alyx

    Cannabis is the strongest antioxidant

    • brandon


    • Bob

      Cannabidiol* One day your doctor will be saying “make sure you are getting enough CBD”!

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  • Gerbera

    I suffer from an Inflammatory disease and extreme fatigue. My Niece put me onto your Inflammatory Diet and Breakfast Coffee Drink. I would like to know what form of vanilla to use? Is Vanilla extract
    ok, and are there different grades like the coffee and chocolates? Cheers in advance for a reply.

    • Many people had the same problem, not being able to source high enough quality chocolates or vanillas– you can find high quality vanilla on The Vanilla is finely ground, and does not dissolve in the coffee, however it does add a nice flavor to it.

      How has your fatigue been since changing to the Bulletproof Diet and Bulletproof Coffee?

  • MR

    I just wanted to add a comment. I provide closed-captioning on television at ungodly hours so I need to be able to have sustained energy for long periods of time. I started drinking bullet proof coffee consistently n the mornings two weeks ago and the difference is amazing. I’m finding myself being alert and focused at hours as early as 3:00 am! My hours range from 3am-10pm so I need to keep my energy up all day long and this does the trick. I feel better than I ever have. I am wondering if you think organic Costco coffee is sufficient in terms of quality?

    • It probably isn’t, as the Upgraded Beans go through a specially designed process and are tested to ensure that they are free from molds and mycotoxins. Awesome to hear that Bulletproof Coffee is helping you with your work!

  • TrueVision

    My 83yr old mother started drinking bullet proof coffee and her mental clarity shot up like a rocket. I like it myself, however, I am now experiencing constipation. I have increased the MCT oil up to 3-4 tablespoons, and while others caution to use small amounts, it has no impact on me. I wonder if I’m allergic to it, or perhaps it is the butter and I should switch to ghee? However, now someone says it has an estrogen effect? Comments? Suggestions?

  • Maria

    getting up in the morning is not as hard as it was for me thanks to my bulletproof coffee with mct oil. Best birthday gift ever from my sister.

  • Wesley Theodore.

    What is the difference between the bullet-proof coffee and Douwe Eggberts Columbia, I don’t know if you’ve heard of that? Im suffering brain inflammation like crazy im on ritalin as well…. You can tell me by email if you dont want to disclose coffee secrets, I just dont know if i can get it here in Africa the forementioned brand is the best there is here with lets say a salary of R3000.00 the coffee is R120.00 would you say that’s good? Otherwise for now what is good till i can get your brand this inflammation has been going on for almost a year now and its making me forget my daily activities and hampering my performance as an individual. Please Dave if you may.

    • ds2001

      Two things: Braggs is still made from Soy. There are recipes out there for substitutes that really mimic soy sauce very well.

      The OTHER THING: I came across some very interesting research. A Dr, Peskin has done a lot of research on O3-O6’s and presents some compelling data showing proportion of 3-6’s in human tissue. Skin O6 to O3’s – 1000 to one. Brain O6 to O3 – 100 to 1. Many organs O6 to O3’s 4 to 1. Judging by what a healthy body puts to use, it appears we need far more 6’s than 3’s, the problem being that the vast majority of people are eating processed dead O’6s, and getting very few healthy 3’s. Those that are boosting 3’s are OVERDOING it as the body needs very few 3’s and not the massive overdoses people are getting today compared to the unhealthy ratio of bad 6’s they are taking in.

      His research also states that the lipids and fats in the body are composed in direct proportion to the amount and types of fat people are taking in. In other words if you are taking in 100% mono as in Olive oil, eventually that is what you will be made up off. Not healthy. Or if almost 60% O3’s, also not healthy as brain and skin can’t tolerate that.

      Now, I am an original O3 fan as I was reading Dr. Joanna Budwig 25 years ago before Flax oil was kool. But just seeing the proportion of fats used by brain, organs, skin etc have convinced me.

      So for now I’ve cut out the olive oil, eat very little processed food, am using organic walnut, and organic grapeseed oils, and put some Costco pecans and walnuts in my shakes. Also grinding some flax seeds but cut down on them. Theory being that I’m overdosing for a while on the little processed O6’s for a while to compensate for ignoring them for so long, lol!

  • Rayray

    Dave, i have heard you say that the fat in the coffee doesn’t signal to the body that we have eaten. Does that still apply if I add vanilla beans, your chocolate or generic cocoa powder?

    • Mal

      Does the chocolate in bulletproof coffee interfere with fat burning? How do I store your upgraded chocolate powder?

  • Dave. So I read the comment about the mycotoxin levels in Coffee in South America. But I live in South America and I am really trying to find some high quality coffee that you speak of.

    Any suggestions?

  • Savanna

    I’ve had a weight problem ever since I started college when I was 17, I had never had the problem before then because I rarely ate due to being so busy (I was raised on a farm) I also started birth control when I started college and apparently that was a factor in my weight gain. Being only 4’11” and 130 lbs was not a good look for me, once I changed the birth control I was using I noticed I dropped a mere 15 pounds. But for me that wasn’t good enough because naturally I’m 100 – 90 give or take. I’m glad to have received your email getting sexy back because I’m excited to see the natural birth control methods. I’d like to try this diet, but I’m afraid that i will fail since I am on birth control. Today I’ve decided to take control of my weight, and become bullet proof no matter how broke it makes me because I have a heart condition that is threatening to get considerably worse if I don’t straighten up because I’m gaining all my weight back with another birth control. Do you think this diet will work with my birth control?

  • Clementine Eberhart

    Dave If you try to stick to the bulletproof diet yet once in awhile “cheat” or eat outside of this specific diet will it backfire and actually cause you to gain weight? I have been trying to be “bulletproof” for awhile now, I used to work out every morning for an hour or so and try to eat well but it didn’t get me anywhere and i love the way the bulletproof diet makes me feel, I have a very sensitive stomach and don’t handle a lot of foods well but I am also a huge foody and love all kinds of good food and would stray from the diet a couple days a week probably with a yummy dinner with friends or a treat. I have stopped working out other than hikes in the morning with my dog but feel as if I have gained weight. I am curious your thoughts, the “cheating” for lack of better word is not often at all, sometimes I go weeks doing so well but other times maybe twice in a week I will have bread or something but could that little bit on top of all the fat I am eating cause me to gain more weight.

    Thank you, clementine

  • Etienne D

    There is a little mistake in the scientific reference. The reference #12 doesn’t show that caffeine and coffee can increase insulin resistance. It shows the opposite.

  • Etienne D

    You should add the following reference to illustrate the benefits of caffeine/coffee:

    Caffeine attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammation.
    Brothers HM, Marchalant Y, Wenk GL.
    Neurosci Lett. 2010 Aug 16
    PMID: 20541589

  • Pratt

    What are your thoughts on Bragg’s liquid amino’s . Can i use that as a soy sauce substitute when i have my sushi or sashmi.

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  • SP

    I wonder if adding Raw Hemp powder to the Bulletproof Coffee combo would be beneficial? Lots of Omegas there..

  • Amber

    I used to LOVE coffee and really want to try the bulletproof combo… I gave up coffee due to severe migraines. I’ve been on what is basically a bulletproof diet for over a year (with a few flubs, ice cream mostly) and significantly cut down my migraines,but still terrified to try coffee again…Anyone have experience with migraines and coffee that can weigh in for me? Any naturally decaffeinated teas I could slurp up some butter with maybe?

    • antoinepgrew

      I knew a doctor who had crippling, utterly screaming out-of-his-mind migraines. Really top quality espresso or Turkish coffee was the only thing that cure them, and that is what he recommended to his patients.

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  • Kelly

    Good to hear you call out goji berries for their family connections! Hardly see anyone mention that.

    Chocolate and/or cocoa is very high in oxalates, which can be a problem for many people and actually increase inflammation. And butter…well, I realize it does have benefits, but it also can raise triglycerides big time…

  • J

    I experimented with fresh ground coffee (just with beans I had laying around), Kerrygold butter and MCL as per the recipe. It tastes really nice, goes down real smooth – but half an hour later I’m going “hhhkk! nnnggghhh! kkkr-kkkr-shurgh!” because of my dairy allergy.

    Is making and using ghee a good way to avoid this by filtering off the allergens in the butter ?

    Would heating the butter damage the good fats and oils in it ?

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  • Dayane Lewis

    Dave, unfortunately, I can’t stand coffee… What would be best alternative?

    • NR

      I’ve been using chocolate. I use coconut milk, heat it up, add cocoa powder (nothing but cocoa powder) – just like making hot chocolate. Then I pour it in the vitamix with kerrygold and mct. :9 Works just fine for me.

      • NR

        Oh! I also add a packet of stevia. It doesn’t make it sweet at all; it makes it not-bitter. YUMMY.

    • Garrett K

      What part of coffee do you find that you can’t stand?

      Have you given BPC a try? It’s quite different (and IMO far better) than basic black (or cream) coffee.

  • Mal

    Does putting upgraded chocolate into my bullet proof coffee interrupt the fat burning process? Also what’s the best way to store your upgraded chocolate once the package is opened?

  • Gene

    I had a question with the 70%+ cocoa chocolate. What do we need to look for in the remaining 30%. Should there be no sugar in the remaining for a bullet proof diet. Is there a brand you recommend I can get at my local whole foods, or trader joes

  • jana

    chocolate is a bean

  • jana

    after chocolate, vanilla is also a bean….coffee =bean…most of you super foods, except dairy butter are beans….so why other beans could not be super foods?? I would really like the explanation of this….

  • jana

    Perhaps, other beans are not as concentrated sources of antioxidants as vanilla, cocoa, or coffee..but they surely do have anti oxidants too, and on top of that they have macro nutrients to actually give us fuel, rather clean fuel (free of sugar and toxins stored in today’s animal fats and proteins). And seeing as we really do not live in a paleolithic-like era these days but in cities surrounded by constant stress (mostly minus the “flight”), beans give us fiber and slowly digestible starch to sustain our blood glucose levels without always relying on cortisol…..Because if you just keep pouring vanilla over butter for breakfast ,and add a coffee into the mix too, you eventually risk beating up someone in the crowded metro on your way to work!! So in my opinion, a nice insulinogenic cappuccino (with some real vanilla added if you can afford it…)and a butter croissant, will not kill you nor make you fat, and just might make you live longer thanks to the lower level of stress, the biggest killer of all…and then for lunch, add some properly cooked beans with your animal protein, and you will go steady till dinner. If not, a piece of fruit will help around 5 pm, when your sugar and cortisol are naturally lower…In my humble opinion, in today’s world which is not at all paleo, we have enough of stress hormone already so unless one lives somewhere in the nature and can meditate all day long, one needs carbs nowadays..I think it could be especially true for women. Of course, I could be wrong about it all.

  • Michelle

    Will consuming grass fed butter increase my cholesterol level? Thank you

  • dlw

    I stumbled upon this website and this diet, and I’m blown away! I’ve never heard of this kind of thinking or eating before! This is so opposite of what is in the mainstream media about a healthy diet (low fat, lots of fruits and veggies, and whole grains, etc.) What’s confusing is everyone who touts a healthy diet has science and studies to back it up. How can that be? If there’s so much science and proof behind Dave’s way of eating, why isn’t it out there in the mainstream?

    • Believer

      Regarding the science, check out Dr. Jason Fung’s series of 6 YouTube lectures called the “Aetiology of Obesity” for a thoughtful discussion of the research on this topic. Regarding your question that it’s not considered mainstream….there is tremendous resistance to this type of nutrition because our entire country (the US) has set itself up to support the Standard American Diet–low fat, high carb….and there is a ton of money invested in keeping that machine going.

  • Cate

    I love the bulletproof coffee. I’ve read coffee drains the adrenals. What research do you have?

  • swehage

    What about grains like Quinoa? I also love green salads with lots of different greens (arugula, spinach, etc). And, I’ve been replacing much of my meat intake with lentils and black beans. Can this really be bad? I am eating grass-fed butter, but I’m worried that making some changes and not others with result in weight gain, higher cholesterol and triglycerides…

  • swehage

    What about Quinoa? It’s loaded with protein. Also, I’ve switched to grass-fed butter, but have been limiting my meat and substituting lentils, and black beans. How can this be bad? Also, wondering if following some of the rules/guidelines and not others will lead to weight gain, high cholesterol and triglycerides…

  • George

    Out here in CA our grass fed cows have high amounts of Cesium 137. Probably from Fukishima fallout.

  • Austin Fisher

    My Friends and I all drink bulletproof coffee. Here is a video made by one of my friends on how to make the best coffee on teh planet(BulletProof Coffee)

  • Ethan

    I’m looking forward to trying the Bulletproof diet along with Pharmanex’s supplementation. It’s expensive, but I’m sure it’s gonna be well worth it!

  • Roman Gabay

    Such misleading information, you should be ashamed.

    Chocolate causes depression, it is believed that the enormous amount of trans fat in it causes inflammation in the brain, and thus results in depression:

    • Learning Nutrition

      Trans fats can be a problem for inflammation. I read the webmd article you linked to. The thing is, the trans-fats aren’t from the chocolate itself, but from how processed food chocolates are prepared. Standard american chocolate has lots of sugars/corn syrups and fats and other ingredients added. By choosing a healthier form of chocolate, you can avoid the trans fat and excessive sugars.

    • Vero Sercanto

      Not the 85% cocoa I eat and boy, have I had a hell of alot of stress this year with death of parents and child being diagnosed autistic and home burgled.

      • Drea

        Wow I am so sorry to hear that Vero, alot of us have had similar issues that can really do a number on our brain, when a lot of unexpected things/changes happen at one time. For those that were hit hard with that type of stress what are the best things one can do?

        I wish more articles could stop saying how bad stress is – and start proving much better solutions and examples of people that recovered, give relatable examples etc.

        Many of us were fairly healthy before being hit with emotional things — so more information as to how that happens and how the brain heals, addressing inflammation, etc would be nice.

  • I am not very sure about coffee because it is considered like acidic food.

  • Haha really

    Really? People actually believe coffee, butter, and chocolate prevent inflammation? “challenge yourself to completely avoid high-sugar, bad-fat, high-processed foods for a week as you pay extra attention to your cognitive function”….. seriously right now? What you’re doing for a week is starving the naturally occuring parasites, bad bacteria, and addictions that the sugar in chocolate, the fat in butter, and the caffeine in coffee feed while feeling lousy, then adding them back in and feeling better. Also, lol @ at the URL “real-superfoods-that-destroy-inflammation-in-your-brain-the-body-response-that-may-change-your-mental-health-forever” Wow this doesn’t sound like an uneducated source. Not even proper english… & anything that promises to keep you healthy forever is already false. Do America a favor & stop selling your fake products & giving out your fake advice. Some of your references are from blogs. Please stop.

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  • caseyforever

    I’m wondering… if you’re pretty tight on cash… is vanilla bean really a cost effective way to go? or should i just stick with curcumin/bioprene, ginger, maybe ceylon cinammon, and anti-inflammatory foods (keto/bulletproof diet)? i’m on amazon looking the cheapest pack of vanilla beans and besides as dave mentions they could be moldy, they aren’t cheap… thinking maybe skip for now?

  • ?? ??? ?????
  • John Dooley

    Dave, have you ever read ‘The Younger Thinner You Diet’ by Eric Braverman? It’s the best book I’ve read on eating to balance brain chemistry. After following his diet guidelines in the book for only three days I felt so good it was like I was high, and ALL of my cravings went away.

  • Joseph Burros

    I am reading conflicting information about coffee causing or preventing inflammation in the body. I am skeptical about Asprey’s statements about coffee being a definite inflammation preventer. Anyone else here have information about this?

  • Jan Lemcke

    I have post inflammatory brain syndrome from a virus Back in 2012. My head is Burning, throbbing. Poor concentration, off balance 24/7. Any suggestions

    • JSO

      Avoid coffee and alcohol. However, the most important thing to do is balance your Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio as much as possible. Omega 6 causes of inflammation. Coffee is high in Omega 6. A natural balance would be a Omega 3:6 ratio of 1:1 to 1:4. The average diet in the U.S. has a ratio of 1:25. Avoid cooking oils from seed (like soy, corn, sunflower, etc) and cook with coconut oil or glee. Just use the internet to find foods lower in Omega 6 and higher in Omega 3 (wild caught seafood is a great source).

  • Love the idea. Do you have the sources to the inflammation studies?

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  • Unfortunately for my wife with MS both coffee and chocolate are problematic (and we have explored every level of quality).

  • JSO

    Coffee is high in Omega 6 which leads to inflammation. The problem with grain-fed dairy and meat is that the animals are fed grains and soy which are high in Omega 6. This unnaturally high Omega 6 in their diet gets put into their meat, fat, milk, and eggs making them higher in Omega 6 and lower in Omega 3. This is what causes the inflammation when eating grain-fed animal products (don’t let the vegans fool you). Eating grass-fed animal products is the way to go if you want to get rid of you inflammation. STAY AWAY FROM VEGETABLE OILS! They are extremely high in Omega 6. Cook with something like coconut oil or glee. I cured my inflammation by monitoring my Omega 3:6 ratio. An ideal diet would have a ratio of Omega 3 to 6 of 1:1 to 1:4. The SAD has an average ratio of 1:25 and is the cause of all the inflammatory diseases in the modern world. You will be surprised how many foods are extremely high in Omega 6 with low to no Omega 3s in them. Seafood is high in all the good Omega 3s. Flax and chia seeds have a high Omega 3 ratio but it is in the form of ALA which is not readily taken up in our body, however, they are good to throw in dishes to help your Omega 3:6 ratio.

    • BCS

      Please tell me more about the massive amount of fat you’re getting from coffee that’s skewing your omega 3 to 6 ratio…

      • JSO

        Based off a 200 Cal serving coffee can have anywhere from over 500 mg to over 18,000 mg of Omega 6. Coffee is a seed and highly skewed in Omega 6s.

        • BCS

          That may be true, but it’s also totally misleading. A cup of brewed coffee contains 1 calorie. So consuming 200 calories would mean drinking 200 cups. Likely killing you from caffeine overdose in the process.