'Myth of the Role of Saturated Fat in Heart Disease'

MeSci

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From Physician's Health Watch:

An interventional cardiologist argues in BMJ against "the mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease." In addition, Aseem Malhotra writes that the obsession with cholesterol "has led to the overmedication of millions of people with statins."

Obesity rates paradoxically increased in the face of a concurrent reduction in fat consumption, he writes. "When you take the fat out, the food tastes worse. The food industry compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar."

Statins, he argues, work by being anti-inflammatory and by stabilizing coronary plaque -- their effects on cholesterol are beside the point (and their side effects too frequent).

The essay concludes: "It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity."

Link(s):
BMJ essay (Free) http://click.jwatch.org/cts/click?q=227;67907800;TDASmFEyv1/AMDt+9h/YGwK2sWe7ocVtYZy6jqCqeDE=
Background: Previous Physician's First Watch coverage questioning the dogma against saturated fat (Free) http://click.jwatch.org/cts/click?q=227;67907800;TDASmFEyv1/AMDt+9h/YG+eSenWV7hiuYZy6jqCqeDE=
Discussion of the paper by Alliance for Natural Health here.
 

Chris

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I remain sceptical of this stuff--the fact remains that the only doctors who have documented and published actual reversal of established coronary artery disease are Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn, and both used slightly different versions of a very low fat diet. I still await an actual interventional trial of this "saturated fats are OK" stuff. Chris
 

alex3619

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The Ornish diet, which was low fat, did indeed reduce heart disease. Effectively. However, from what I recall, death rates went UP not down. I am not familiar with the name Esselstyn, and I am too busy to investigate this right now, with the IOM crises upon us.

Cholesterol is a repair hormone. You need it. Severe restriction of saturated fat often induces secondary problems, including CoQ10 deficiency. The main hypothesis on cholesterol and heart disease, at least at the time I was investigating this about a decade ago, is that its oxidized cholesterol that is the problem, particularly in combination with low levels of high density lipoprotein, HDL.

HDL removes plaques and abnormal fatty deposits. Oxidative stress can be from many things, including CoQ10 deficiency, methylation issues, bad diet in general, infection, immune activation, or any disorder that seriously disrupts metabolism or mitochondrial function. Two really bad risk factors are tobacco and alchohol in excess.

The link between high carb and low fat diets is clear. They increase obesity risk. Even our farmers know this. How do you fatten cattle? Think about it. Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease.
 

heapsreal

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I would argue that dr atkins had alot of success with his high fat and protein with low carb diet not just for weight loss but also heart disease risks reduced such as cholesterol and blood fats called triglyerides which low carb diets have a big impact on.

The thing in common with healthy diets is that they are more natural and less man made crap involved.
If it runs around on the ground , swims in the water or flies in the air, or comes out of the ground or off a tree or vine then its probably good for you. But if man has taken it and refined the crap out of it then its probably bad for you such as flour.
 

Hugocfs

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My cholesterol is high, in rough numbers total is 270, ldl is 205, and hdl is 40. My gp is obsessed with getting my ldl down to 130. 'This is not negotiable' were basically his words. Even with statins, I could not obtain that goal. And I could not tolerate the side effects. Same thing with niacin. Last time I saw him, he suggested that I try something natural, red yeast rice. He must think I am stupid. Red yeast rice is a natural statin. So he is now part of the history of my life. I am currently looking for a new pcp, but in the meantime I am trying cinnamon. If that doesn't help, can anyone recommend something natural? I know there are a lot of products available on the market. Is this even something I should be worried about? I am very skeptical of the whole cholesterol thing? My rudimentary understanding is that the problem is not the cholesterol, but rather inflamation. As background, my family was no history of heart disease except my father who had a mild heart attack at age 59. But then again, he was a heavy smoker, overweight, and sedentary. He died at age 63 from lung cancer. My mom has high cholesterol and is still kicking at 83. Also last time I saw my former pcp, I asked him to listen to my carotid artery. He said it sounded good, lol.
 

Hugocfs

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Also, my mom has only been treated for high cholesterol for about 10 years. She is repeatedly on and off of statins, because she has problems tolerating the side effects too.
 

MeSci

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Oh man, not my pancakes! ;)
Have you tried buckwheat or gram (chickpea) flour pancakes? They are not bad. Mind you, I stopped having them after I suspected a sensitivity to buckwheat and the inadvisability of having too much pulses.

You could try rice ones, or maybe corn (maize) ones - in moderation and with lots of coconut oil!
 

MeSci

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I remain sceptical of this stuff--the fact remains that the only doctors who have documented and published actual reversal of established coronary artery disease are Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn, and both used slightly different versions of a very low fat diet. I still await an actual interventional trial of this "saturated fats are OK" stuff. Chris
Check out some of the links from my last link. Although the Alliance for Natural Health don't always get it right, I'm with them on this one. They have links to other studies.

Bear in mind that I am a vegan who was until recently wedded to the fact that sat fat was bad and polyunsaturates were good, and also that grains were good. I was brainwashed back in the 70s along with millions of others. I have now read enough evidence to convince me that I was wrong, and my health has improved significantly since I made appropriate adjustments.
 

alex3619

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Have you tried buckwheat or gram (chickpea) flour pancakes? They are not bad. Mind you, I stopped having them after I suspected a sensitivity to buckwheat and the inadvisability of having too much pulses.

You could try rice ones, or maybe corn (maize) ones - in moderation and with lots of coconut oil!
Sorry, it was mostly just dark humour. I get weird in a crash or partial crash. I do eat wheat flour, I don't appear to have classic problems with it, but that doesn't mean I can handle it either. I am still considering this. My big problem though is that my haemochromatosis limits the meat I can eat, though eggs apparently are better than good for this condition.

In the early 90s I was on a metabolically controlled diet under a doctor, and ate to precise grams of fat. My daily saturated intake averaged something like 2.2g. If it went under 2g I got severe headaches. I was only eating about 10g of fat a day, mostly monounsaturated. To this day I think the evidence still supports the notion that the fat we should mostly eat is monounsaturated. If you eat too little or too much of the any polyunsaturated fat it can be a problem, but ditto for saturated fats. Its about balance more than anything. Monounsaturated fat is better eaten in quantity for two reasons. First, its not made into hormones ... you don't stuff with hormone chemistry. Second, it still leads to high fluidity in cell membranes, unlike saturated fat.

Yet the issue with heard disease is still unclear. We still need more research. Isn't that the story with most diseases?
 

MeSci

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Sorry, it was mostly just dark humour. I get weird in a crash or partial crash. I do eat wheat flour, I don't appear to have classic problems with it, but that doesn't mean I can handle it either. I am still considering this. My big problem though is that my haemochromatosis limits the meat I can eat, though eggs apparently are better than good for this condition.

In the early 90s I was on a metabolically controlled diet under a doctor, and ate to precise grams of fat. My daily saturated intake averaged something like 2.2g. If it went under 2g I got severe headaches. I was only eating about 10g of fat a day, mostly monounsaturated. To this day I think the evidence still supports the notion that the fat we should mostly eat is monounsaturated. If you eat too little or too much of the any polyunsaturated fat it can be a problem, but ditto for saturated fats. Its about balance more than anything. Monounsaturated fat is better eaten in quantity for two reasons. First, its not made into hormones ... you don't stuff with hormone chemistry. Second, it still leads to high fluidity in cell membranes, unlike saturated fat.

Yet the issue with heard disease is still unclear. We still need more research. Isn't that the story with most diseases?
I agree that monounsaturated is good but only if used without heating/cooking. I think we also need some polyunsaturates, especially more omega-3 than most of us get, but again not to cook with it. The Alliance for Natural Health have a good article on this, and I could try to find the link if it's not viewable from the ANH link I provided. I haven't had time yet myself - having to do a lot of catching-up following a very difficult time personally, which I am gradually starting to recover from.