Time to stop blaming saturated fat for heart disease?

Natural Health News – A new analysis has suggested that the general guidelines that they tell people simply cut saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats increase can not be based on solid evidence.

The meta-analysis published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine pooled the results of 72 previous studies on heart disease and consumption of fatty acids. In all data it participated more than 600,000 people in 18 nations.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge led by Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury found that if measured in the diet or in the bloodstream as a biomarker, the scientific evidence is not consistent with the guidelines that restrict consumption saturated fats in order to prevent heart disease.

– Fats a complex picture

Researchers say they also found insufficient support for the guidelines that advocate high intake of polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 and omega-6) to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Furthermore, when specific subtypes of fatty acids were examined (such as different types of omega-3), the effects of fatty acids on cardiovascular risk varies even within the same “family “broad

for example, researchers found that different circulating subtypes of long-chain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids had different associations with coronary risk, with some evidence that the levels of acids eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA and EPA, two main circulating types of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids) and arachidonic acid (AA, an omega-6 fat) are associated with each lower coronary risk.

Similarly, in saturated fatty acids, the researchers found weak associations between palmitic and stearic acids (found largely in fat palm oil and animal, respectively) and the risk of cardiovascular disease in circulation while margaric acid (milk fat) circulating significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease.

assumptions Interrogation

This data, they say, suggests that we should be questioning existing dietary guidelines focus primarily on the total amount of fat, saturated or unsaturated instead of dietary sources of fatty acids subtypes.

According to Dr. Chowdhury :. “These are interesting results that potentially stimulate new lines of scientific research and encourage careful reappraisal of our current nutritional guidelines

” Cardiovascular disease, in which the main manifestation is coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. In 2008, more than 17 million people died from cardiovascular causes worldwide. With so many affected by this disease, it is essential to have prevention guidelines appropriate which are informed by the best available scientific evidence. “

Red meat not yet in the clear

When asked what the implications of this study are left for eating meat Dr. Chowdhury noted:

“last year, two seminal works very convincingly demonstrated that the observed damage in red meat for disease risk can heart, in fact, be attributed to another abundant noxious chemical ( L-carnitine ) in red meat instead of saturated fats alleged long “.

“unless we have more tests, increased consumption of red meat should still be considered harmful, but it’s just saturated fatty acids can not be the main explanation, as traditionally perceived by the adverse cardiovascular effects red meat. “

the jury is still out on the link disease L-carnitine / heart. In fact, a study published in the same time in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that supplements of L-carnitine can help heart attack survivors reduce the chances of dying prematurely or reduce the symptoms of angina (chest pain with exertion or stress).

But what is clear from this and other Recent studies on fat and heart disease , is that the link is simply not as strong as previously thought.

One approach to the whole diet

Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, which helped fund the study, said:

“This analysis of existing data suggests that there is not enough evidence to say that a diet rich in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, clinical studies on a large scale are needed, and these researchers recommend, before making a conclusive judgment.

Pearson recommends a diet approach and entire lifestyle (and indeed a healthy diet, rather than a low-fat diet it has recently been show to be protective) “… quitting smoking, staying active, and ensure our healthy diet is all -. and this means taking into account not only the fats in our diet, but intake of salt, sugar and fruits and vegetables “

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