BHT stands for butylated hydroxytoluene, an antioxidant that is added to foods such as margarines and breakfast cereals to prevent polyunsaturated fats from turning rancid. Entrepreneurs sell BHT, claiming that it helps treat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. There is no data to support such nonsense. Others claim that it helps to prevent cancer, and there is no data to support this either.

On the other side, some people claim that BHT causes cancer because some older studies, using enormous doses of BHT were associated with increased risk for cancer in animals, but reasonable doses are not associated with cancer. Others claim that food additives such as BHT make children hyperactive, but there is no data to support this. BHT has neither special health-giving qualitites , nor known harmful effects.

Checked 5/3/07

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