What is BHT?

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a phenolic compound (antioxidant) that is often added to foods to preserve fats. [1]

Is BHT Safe?

BHT has undergone the additive application and review process required by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, the same chemical properties which make BHT an excellent preservatives may also be implicated in health effects. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity; however the same reactions may combat oxidative stress.

There is evidence that certain people may have difficulty metabolizing BHT, resulting in health and behavior changes. BHT may also have antiviral and antimicrobial activities. Research is underway concerning the use of BHT in the treatment of herpes simplex and AIDS. [1]

Is BHT Artificial or Natural?

Specifically, BHA, short for Butylated Hydroxyanisole, and BHT, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, are both artificial preservatives added to oils to slow down deterioration. [2]