Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Building Butter Babies

OK.  This is the last thing that I am going to post about butter for a while.  Or maybe I should just say something positive like, "Here is the final installment on my important series on butter." (snort.)

It's funny, but what Emma has missed on our detox/elimination diet is not gluten-containing grains but whole fat dairy products, especially cheese.  Last year when we had raw milk, she consumed vast quantities of whole milk and cream.  And she always drank from the jar of milk that had the most cream on top, often three or four inches thick in a quart.  Now that I know she is gluten-intolerant and has a variety of problems associated with thyroid malfunction, including low stomach acid and malabsorption of Vitamin D, I wonder if that was because her body needed the readily-absorbable vitamins in the milk fat, not to mention all the enzymes that would have been aiding her digestion.  She basically crashed and burned in physical health in December.  (I'm working on a post about that, but there are so many strange details to work in, I don't know when I'll finish it.) She and I both noticed that her health took a nose dive immediately after she quit drinking raw milk in November.  However, our big fear now is that she is dairy intolerant.  People who are gluten intolerant have a 50% percent chance of being dairy intolerant as well.  I guess we'll know when we she starts eating dairy again during the provocation phase of this detox.  

I know you're probably wondering what all this has to do with butter.  Well, I realize that we are going to have to work extra hard on her nutrition to restore her health but also to prepare her body for pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing.  Women with Hashimoto's/gluten intolerance who don't address their nutritional deficiencies have a higher risk of infertility, miscarriage, and having babies with birth defects.  Chris Kresser at The Healthy Skeptic announced the other day that he is going to teach a seminar next month on nutrition for pre-conception, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.  Naturally butter from grass fed cows can play an important role in this.  Then he will offer an online class and also a DVD option for those who can't attend the seminar.  I plan to enroll Emma in the class.  In the meantime, she and I will be studying this article by Chris Masterjohn, "Vitamins for Fetal Development: Conception to Birth".  It was published in Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Finally, here's today's butter nugget from which the title of this post is directed:

From The Nourished Kitchen, via The Healthy Skeptic:

Butter and cream produced from cows grazing on rapidly growing green grasses were considered a fertility booster among traditional societies and held sacred.  While modern diet gurus encourage women to eschew these nutrient-dense foods in favor of margarines, vegetable oils and dairy substitutes, such butter and cream are potent sources of fat soluble vitamins A and K2.  Preformed vitamin A, also found in abundance in liver and fermented cod liver oil, helps to improve reproductive health and reduce risk of birth defects.  Vitamin K2, a nutrient critical to reproductive health and growing babies, is of particular importance and those suffering from gluten-intolerance are more likely to suffer from inadequate levels of this vitamin as well as many other micronutrients critical for fertility.  Indeed, inadequate vitamin levels adversely effect the fertility of celiac sprue sufferers28.  A recent study of over 18,000 women found that consumption of low-fat and skim milk products resulted in decreased fertility while consumption of full-fat dairy products saw increased fertility making good quality butter, heavy cream and whole milk good choices for women planning to conceive29.


Emily G. said...


I feel for you and Emma on this diet. I can't imgine life without dairy or grain! Goodness.

The Pope Paul VI institute probably has some good literature on dealing with thyroid issues as related to fertility, pregnancy, etc. It would be worth contacting them to find out, anyway.

Wendy Haught said...

Thanks, Emily!