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Ayurvedic texts describe many diverse mind/body benefits for ghee. For example, * Absorption: Ghee is an integral part of the practice of ayurvedic herbal formulation. Since ghee is an oil, it can bond with lipid-soluble nutrients and herbs to penetrate the lipid-based cell membranes of the body. It is stated to increase the potency of certain herbs by carrying the active components to the interior of the cells where they impart the most benefit. * Digestion: The ayurvedic texts say that ghee helps balance excess stomach acid, and helps maintain/repair the mucus lining of the stomach. * Mild Burns: Like aloe, ghee is said to prevent blisters and scarring if applied quickly to affected skin. Also, ghee stored over a longer time has more medicinal value. (source: Wikipedia)

Ghee Comparison Table

Comparison of ghee products for quality and price

This article was updated January 1, 2009. Please make your browser window wide to see the full table.

Ghee is very important in regard to free radicals, health and longevity. I will write more about that in another post. For now, I'l just say that ghee is more than an indulgence. In a healthy vegetarian diet, ghee can be viewed as an essential vitamin supplement (albeit, one that tastes really good). In this post I want to take a look at the products that represent the best value and I want to compare quality. Ghee is so important as an addition to the diet that quality should not be sacrificed -- especially because only a very small amount of ghee needs to be used.

Ghee lowers cholesterol

In my prior post, I related my experience with consuming ghee for a year. At the end of the year, my heart health improved in every way (including a lower level of "bad" plasma cholesterol).

I just ran across a study that confirms my experience. (UPDATE: this study also answers the question I raised in my prior post.) Here is the abstract and reference:

J Nutr Biochem. 2000 Feb;11(2):69-75. 
Hypocholesterolemic effect of anhydrous milk fat ghee is mediated by increasing the secretion of biliary lipids.

Kumar MV, Sambaiah K, Lokesh BR.

Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Does ghee contain oxidized cholesterol?

Almost every reputable seller of ghee that I can find online claims that ghee contains no oxidized cholesterol.

Here is a quote from MAPI's ghee page:

Ghee imparts the benefits of the best essential fatty acids without the problems of oxidized cholesterol, transfatty acids or hydrogenated fats. It is also resistant to free radical damage and is both salt and lactose free.

However, several western doctors or scientists make the opposite claim. Who is right?

I'm having trouble finding good quality research papers that provide a definitive answer. If anyone has some good references, please let me know.