As the name suggests, butter oil, is oil from butter, it is known for being high in vitamin K, and is particularly active. It is possible that the high vitamin K activity we see in butter oil is due to various metabolites of vitamin K which are unique in butter oil, or particularly concentrated, due to synergistic fats in the oil, or other synergistic nutrients. In early nutritional research conducted by Dr. Weston A. Price, butter oil was said to contain something called ‘activator-X’. This ‘activator-X’ was later to be found to be vitamin K2, which is a highly valuable form of vitamin K2 which is rarely found in your diet.
In the context of Green Pasture’s butter oil, which is a very popular butter oil supplement, the product is highly concentrated by a centrifuge. The use of a centrifuge concentrates the amount of vitamin K2, meaning relatively small quantities need to be consumed to get the benefits.
Butter oil is primarily taken for its highly active vitamin K2. Vitamin K is a very important, but often overlooked vitamin, and is essential for blood and bone health. More information on what vitamin K does in the body can be read here. Diets very rarely contain vitamin K2, and even rarely contain the less active vegetable form K1. Vitamin K1 is commonly found in dark green leafy vegetables like kale, but its activity pales to that of K2. K2 can only really be found in meaningful quantities in butter oil, some ghee products, and a fermented soy product called natto (which is extremely high in vitamin K2, but looks… not very appetising).
For people looking to increase vitamin K2 in their diet, this leaves very few options. Many people view butter oil as the easiest (and arguably best) way to do this. Butter oil is also often taken along side cod liver oil in a blend (2/3 cod liver oil, and 1/3 butter oil). This ratio is thought to be optimal for the synergistic properties that the cod liver oil nutrients has with the butter oil nutrients. Green Pasture, the manufacturers of the concentrated butter oil, also make a cod liver oil/ butter oil blend product because taking the products together is so popular. For many people, this is a convenient way to get all the nutrients these products provide in the desirable ratios.