Is there any evidence for the bullet-proof coffee craze?

It's made from filter coffee, two tablespoons of grass-fed butter and two tablespoons of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil, all blended together as a breakfast meal replacement (if you're doing the all-out bullet-proof diet). It's claimed that it helps with energy, focus, and weight-loss. Here's the Wikipedia article. I did a bit of Googling to see what others have said, but figured I'd pose the question here...

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  • Too much caffeine isn't going to be healthy because it raises insulin/IGF-1. Hyperinsulinaemia is more hazardous to health than hyperglycaemia, as the ACCORD study demonstrated.

    It was also shown recently on TV that, as with most drugs, we become accustomed to coffee and relatively quickly it only brings us to a level of alertness considered 'normal'.

  • "Too much" is the question, not the answer. How much is too much and how much is required to have a significant insulin raising effect? Otherwise "too much" is simply a statement of the obvious.

    Is there any evidence that we become accustomed to "most drugs"? Does that mean that long-term prescribing of most drugs is of little benefit?

  • Yes, you are quite right helvella; my description is generalised. Too much of anything is bad by definition.

    Most people don't have the means to test their insulin levels, and doctors rarely test for this. However, if people are aware that they are suffering hormonal disruption (such as PCOS or metabolic syndrome) that may be attributable to high insulin levels it would be wise to reduce things that affect it such as yoghurt, beans, high-glycaemic foods, fructose (that contributes to insulin resistance), and of course caffeine.

    Developing tolerance is common. It doesn't automatically follow "that long-term prescribing of most drugs is of little benefit". What it does imply is that the dose then has to increase to give the same effect. That means the scope for side-effects also increases, which is why there always needs to be periodic reviews of medication with a health professional to weigh-up the best course of action.

  • Thanks for coming back. :-)

    In my little corner of HU, where thyroid hormones are the issue, I really don't think we see a general need for an increased dose over the longer time frame. Certainly there is a period of months to, maybe, a year or two, in which doses might need to rise in most patients. But many, many people get to a dose on which they can be more or less stable over many years. Variation in needs often occur due to things like time of year, dietary factors, general health, iron, B12, etc. Indeed, there is some evidence and argument that people might need less in later life - especially at menopause and after in women.

    There is far more discussion about which hormones (T4 and/or T3, synthetic or porcine) than changing doses.

  • If you cut out a meal, any meal, you are likely to lose weight. Why replace a potentially nutritious meal with something with minimal nutrition?

    Grass fed butter is a good food, but consumed in this quantity may possibly turn out to be a bad idea. As far as I'm aware MCT oil has no nutritional benefits.

    Coffee is a great drink (but preferably with cream).

  • Ha. Solid answer. Love coffee... and butter... and basically anything oily, but doesn't sound like much of a DIET.

  • What utter tripe. Someone is pulling your leg! Presumably, grass-fed butter is obtained from milk from cows that have been fed only on grass. What on earth are medium-chain triglycerides and where would you buy them? If you were to be silly enough to play at formulating this "bullet-proof breakfast" you'de need an industrial homogeniser. Maybe that all sounds a bit negative and uncomfortably sensible. Mind you, I do admire a man who uses hyphens. And your use of apostrophes renews my faith in humanity.

  • LOL. I agree with pretty much everything you've stated. I'm a sucker for health / diet hacks when they have some sort of evidence behind them, but I couldn't find one evidence-based statement!

  • Tripe possibly, but no leg pulling! The American who devised 'bullet proof coffee' appears to be on his way to becoming a rich man.

  • Haha. Indeed.

  • That's because he is a crook with no moral compass whatsoever. My advice to him is that he would make much more money selling street drugs. I am so full of contempt for that sort of predator.

  • The question is there any evidence is meaningless. What you want to know is this concoction going to do me good. The real answer is that you do not know and you have to do your own trial to find out the answer.

    Every person has there own internal system of bacteria which engages in food digestion and produces breakdown products from the digestion of food the bacteria digest. Some products are useful and some are harmful. As each person's microbiome is different (see website below for better explanation) each person will get a different food breakdown result.

    What I am saying that a wonder food does what it says on the label for some people and will fail for others. For many it will be a case of it may be better than nothing. Warning - all things have side effects which may not be apparent until much later and much usage of the concoction.

    Hope this helps.

  • I hear what you're saying. I suppose the question is: is there evidence that it really does *anyone* any good?

  • Only anecdotal!

  • Well I drink my coffee with coconut oil which is an MCT oil, after a month or so I started enjoying it so much I now prefer it to milk or cream. I find I can have a cup in the morning and not be hungry at all, till lunch time. So I can fast from about 9pm till 1pm in effect. I put 1 tsp in my coffee. Skin good, hair and nails good, weight OK but I'm menopausal so extra hard to loose some annoying pounds. I think a lot of people are enjoying the benefits of coconut oil and those are obtained through it being an MCT oil. Totally natural.

  • I might try coconut oil 😀 been using it in cooking for a while. Also use it on my skin and hair. My hairdresser says my hair is in lovely healthy condition, previously it was a bit dry.

  • When it comes to fad diets, in many cases, you might as well make them up. We took 5 popular diets doing the rounds in the media, and then made up 5 more diets. The challenge is to see if you can tell the difference between the fad diets, and the fictional diets. Average score so far is 6/10!

  • I think the thing with bullet proof coffee is that it isn't a diet per se, it's just a way of replacing your regular coffee, with another version that you may or may not find your body loves!! It may also be an indicator of following a WOE such as paleo and/or LCHF. So any health benefits would be hard to attribute solely to drinking a bulletproof coffee. So I doubt there will ever be evidence in its own right. It's just a drink, it would be like measuring drinking coke, or milk within a diet. I would say give a try, it takes a while to get used to, but personally I wouldn't go back. BTW I just have black coffee (espresso or instant) with a teaspoon of coconut oil. I have tried butter on its own but prefer the oil. Can't be bothered to blend my coffee every time so haven't done the two together LOL!

  • I enjoyed my coffee with coconut oil so much! It made me think.....I have a problem waking with migraine in the mornings. It seems to be that my blood sugar drops and that triggers a migraine. I've tried eating cheese at bedtime and it works quite well but I don't always want to have cheese! So tonight I've had a drink of full fat milk with coconut oil, it was lovely. Morning will tell if it's helped!

  • MY thoughts always.. if its a ' craze' , its not worth it!

  • it sounds absolutely disgusting.

  • no u re get a life XD jk lv u

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