Butylated Hydroxytoluene

Other Name(s):

2,6-di-tert-butyl-p-creosol, BHT, Butil Hidroxitolueno, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Butylhydroxytoluene, Butylhydroxytoluène, Butyl Hydroxytoluène, Dibutylated Hydroxytoluene, Dibutylhydroxytoluène, Hydroxytoluène Butylé.

Overview

BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) is a lab-made chemical that is added to foods as a preservative. People also use it as medicine.

BHT is used to treat genital herpes and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Some people apply BHT directly to the skin for cold sores.

How does it work?

BHT is an antioxidant. It may damage the protective outer layer of viral cells. This may keep the viruses from multiplying and/or doing more damage.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of BHT for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Side Effects

BHT is safe in the amounts found in processed foods. But there isn't enough information to know if it is safe to take BHT in medicinal doses, which are typically higher. There also isn't enough information to know whether BHT can be safely used on the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: BHT is safe when eaten as food, but there's not enough information to know if it's safe in the larger amounts that are used as medicine. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, stick with food amounts until more is known.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of BHT depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for BHT. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

QUESTION

Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

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Reviewed on 6/14/2021
References

Botterweck AA, Verhagen H, Goldbohm RA, et al. Intake of butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene and stomach cancer risk: results from analyses in the Netherlands Cohort Study. Food Chem Toxicol 2000;38:599-605.. View abstract.

Coohill TP, Babich M, Taylor WD, Snipes W. A comparison of herpes simplex virus plaque development after viral treatment with anti-DNA or antilipid agents. Biophys J 1980;30:517-21.. View abstract.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182

Freeman DJ, Wenerstrom G, Spruance SL. Treatment of recurrent herpes simplex labialis with topical butylated hydroxytoluene. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1985;38:56-9.. View abstract.

Grogan MW. Toxicity from BHT ingestion. West J Med 1986;145:245-6.

Reimund E. Butylated hydroxytoluene, lipid-enveloped viruses, and AIDS. Med Hypotheses 1987;23:39-42.. View abstract.

Shlian DM, Goldstone J. More on BHT toxicity. West J Med 1986;145:699.

Shlian DM, Goldstone J. Toxicity of butylated hydroxytoluene. N Engl J Med 1986;314:648-9.

Williams GM, Iatropoulos MJ, Whysner J. Safety assessment of butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene as antioxidant food additives. Food Chem Toxicol 1999;37:1027-38.. View abstract.

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