I checked medline. The articles there state that BHT is poentially toxic or fatal, and not very effective.
Author(s): Llaurado JG
Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition. [J Am Coll Nutr] 1985; Vol. 4 (4), pp. 481-4.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Journal Information: Country of Publication: UNITED STATES NLM ID: 8215879 ISSN: 0731-5724 Subsets: MEDLINE
MeSH Terms: Longevity*
Adrenal Gland Diseases/chemically induced; Animals; Antineoplastic Agents; Butylated Hydroxyanisole/administration & dosage; Butylated Hydroxytoluene/administration & dosage; Food preservatives ; Humans; Kidney Diseases/chemically induced; Muscular Diseases/chemically induced; Potassium Deficiency/chemically induced; Rabbits; Rats
Abstract: The phenolic antioxidants BHT and BHA have been widely used for many years in small concentrations for foods, pharmaceutical preparations and cosmetic products to prevent oxidation of labile lipoid components. Recently, in an aggressive campaign, daily 2 g doses of these compounds have been recommended, without scientific grounds, to combat senescence, genital herpes and cancer. However, information in the bio-medical literature reveals that the recommended human dose of 2 g/day is simply one order of magnitude below the lethal dose in animals. Obviously, these high dose levels, if not immediately lethal for humans, must produce pathological effects. Physicians and health authorities should be familiar with the consequences of prolonged administration of large doses of BHT and BHA and forbid their use except as fat stabilizers for food and pharmaceutical products.
Title: Hazards of self-treatment for herpes... (BHT), a phenolic antioxidant food preservative.
Source: Nurses' Drug Alert (NURSES DRUG ALERT), 1986 May; 10(5): 33-4 (1 ref)
Title: Treatment of recurrent herpes simplex labialis with topical butylated hydroxytoluene.
Author(s): Freeman DJ; Wenerstrom G; Spruance SL
Source: Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. [Clin Pharmacol Ther] 1985 Jul; Vol. 38 (1), pp. 56-9.
Publication Type: Clinical Trial; Controlled Clinical Trial; Journal Article
Journal Information: Country of Publication: UNITED STATES NLM ID: 0372741 ISSN: 0009-9236 Subsets: Core Clinical (AIM); MEDLINE
MeSH Terms: Butylated Hydroxytoluene/*therapeutic use
Herpes Labialis/*drug therapy
Administration, Topical; Adult; Aged; Double-Blind Method; Drug Evaluation; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Random Allocation; Recurrence; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Simplexvirus/isolation & purification; Time Factors; Wound Healing/drug effects
Abstract: Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a hydrophobic compound with in vitro activity against many enveloped viruses, including herpes simplex virus. The effect of topical therapy with 15% BHT in mineral oil on the course of recurrent herpes simplex labialis was examined in 30 patients in a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study in which treatment was initiated by the physician. Sixteen patients received BHT and 14 received the placebo mineral oil vehicle. The time from lesion onset to dry crust formation was slightly shorter among BHT recipients than among placebo recipients (2.0 and 2.4 days; P = 0.01). Duration of the vesicle-ulcer stages was likewise shorter (1.2 and 2.0 days; P = 0.09), and lesion virus excretion appeared to be less in the subjects who received BHT than in the controls, but these differences were not significant. There was no clinical or laboratory evidence of toxicity.
Title: Beware of phenolic antioxidants (BHT and BHA)
Author(s): Llaurado JG
Source: The Western journal of medicine. [West J Med] 1983 Aug; Vol. 139 (2), pp. 229-30.