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Fats not linked to heart disease

MagazineFebruary 1997 (Vol. 7 Issue 11)Fats not linked to heart disease

Saturated fats found mainly in meat are not linked to heart disease after all, researchers have found

Saturated fats found mainly in meat are not linked to heart disease after all, researchers have found. In fact, some evidence suggests that it may help protect against heart disease.

These findings have been sitting in medical research papers but had not been properly interpreted until they were reviewed by an German nutritional consultant, Dr Nicolai Worm.

His analysis turns on its head one of the fundamental assumptions about heart disease and diet. Saturated fatty acids are even mentioned in the medical dictionaries as being a likely cause of heart disease.

But Dr Worm points to three studies published in the past 20 years that show no link between meat eating and cholesterol and heart disease.

The first, by Alberto Ascherio (BMJ, 1996; 313: 84-90), shows an inverse trend for all cases of heart disease in other words, the more meat you eat, the greater the protection. This surprising finding is backed up by other trials; in fact, the link between saturated fats and the heart is made in only one major trial (BMJ, 1996; 313: 1258).

For more information on the heart and cholesterol, read The WDDTY Guide to the Heart, WDDTY vol 3, no 1, and vol 5, no 11.

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