posted on 12/06/2015 11:31:00 PM
Why is there butter in my coffee?
Words by Pete Tansley
DESIGNER COFFEES: THEY’RE NOT NEW. Thanks to Starbucks, it’s not abnormal for the person next to you to fork out their day’s wage for their triple shot, sugar-free, chocolate-caramel, skinnyalmond milk cappuccino prepared at a specific temperature.
The latest designer coffees are now appealing to the fitness-conscious. Bulletproof coffee especially has claimed to hit the jackpot with their blend of coffee, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and butter.
Leading this trend is the founder of Bulletproof Coffee, Dave Asprey. With a growing list of fans in the United States, Asprey is now aiming to win over coffee aficionados in Australia.
He claims that his Bulletproof Coffee, when mixed with butter or MCT oil, not only tastes better, but has been proven to assist brain function, increase performance, fight hunger signals, turn off your sugar cravings and boost energy levels. But is it all it’s cracked up to be, or just another false claim?
Is This A New Trend?
Although butter, oil and coffee may sound like an unlikely combination, it has actually been consumed around the world for decades.
Asprey claims he thought of the idea when on a holiday, he discovered the Tibetans consume tea with yak butter at high altitudes. Ethiopians also commonly add butter into their coffee. And in Singapore, coffee beans are often stir-fried or blended with butter in a wok before being consumed. So although Bulletproof Coffee might be bringing the concept into the mainstream, it is far from an original idea.
The Truth About Bulletproof Coffee
To look at the how true the claims of Bulletproof Coffee are, let’s look at each of the individual ingredients that make up the blend.
We understand that coffee is a known ergogenic aid with regard to both resistance and cardiovascular training and we also know that 2-3 cups per day appears to be both safe and beneficial.
Asprey claims that conventional, non-Bulletproof Coffee blends can have mould in them.
The concern is that the mould produces toxins that are bad for you. Asprey makes some fairly bold claims about the integrity of his beans, however fails to produce any scientific evidence. One of the claims about the superiority of his beans is that the packaging is free from Bisphenol-A (BPA).
BPA is a compound used in polycarbonate, a different type of plastic that is sometimes used in bottles, the lining of metal cans, and reusable bottles. The packaging used is free from any BPA, which is a positive. But what about the other toxins that Asprey is referring to?
They’re called aflatoxins, which are indeed toxins, and are produced by the mould Aspergillus flavus.
This mould grows worldwide in soil, plant and cereal crops naturally. It’s literally everywhere and you’ve been living with it practically all of your life – just not in any quantities that are likely to cause any diseases to humans.
The mould can cause a disease known as aspergillosis, which the Bulletproof coffee website links to heart attacks and aortic infarctions. However, aspergillosis is caused by an overgrowth of the actual Aspergillus mould, and not the toxin.
So Asprey makes a bold claim to suggest that non-Bulletproof Coffee is the cause. The truth is, if aspergillosis is coming from your coffee, you’ve got bigger problems than what coffee you decide to drink.
This is an exert from 'Bulletproof Coffee' in MMH issue 9. To purchase your copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.