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No evidence saturated fats promote heart disease, no evidence unsaturated fats reduce it

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/artic...

Experts question link between saturated fat and heart disease
Tuesday 18 March 2014 - 3am PST

A new review of published evidence challenges current guidelines that suggest in order to reduce heart disease risk, people should generally restrict intake of saturated fats - like those found in butter and dairy foods - in favor of unsaturated fats - such as in margarine and sunflower oil.

The analysis, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine by an international group led by a team at the UK's University of Cambridge, included 72 separate studies on heart risk and intake of fatty acids.

They found no evidence to support guidelines that say people should restrict saturated fat consumption to lower their risk of developing heart disease.

They also found insufficient evidence to support guidelines that advise eating more foods containing polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 and omega-6) to reduce heart risk.

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  1. I saw this, also. And I've read accounts of the events leading to proclamations about the dangers of saturated fats.

    People will cling to the "butter is evil" myth for many decades to come, I fear.

    12 Replies
    1. re: sandylc

      There are people who will cling to unfounded "ficts" instead of objective science and, most importantly, real world clinical outcomes.

      There was never a legitimate concern about dietary saturated fat as a cause of any disease. In many cases it's a marker for a diet including Coke, fries, and deep fried apple pie and white flour buns. In others, it's a marker for terrible meat and dairy production practices that alter the fatty acid and inflammatory profiles of foods.

      1. re: sandylc

        The study is flawed. Ludicrous, to me, that people believe it.
        We know for a fact that saturated fats CLOG arteries...transfats too. People seem to want to believe good news about bad habits and as a result, Americans are dying of heart disease, the #1 killer of men and women. http://fanaticcook.com/2014/03/22/tha... just saying.

        1. re: Val

          We do NOT know for a fact that saturated fats "clog" arteries; that's the entire point. I know it's tempting to visualize all of that globby fat going straight to your arteries and clogging them up, but that's no more realistic than fearing that eating blueberries will turn you blue.

          1. re: sandylc

            A better way to look at it is the fewer people eating it the less pressure is put on the price :-)

          2. re: Val

            Meta study concluded no harm from saturated fat:

            http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/ear...

            http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/80/...

            Systematic review Relationship between cardiovascular disease and saturated fatty acids (SFA
            )de Oliveira, 2012[11] "a higher intake of dairy saturated fat was associated with lower CVD risk. In contrast, a higher intake of meat SF was associated with greater CVD risk"
            Hooper, 2011[12] Reducing saturated fat in diets reduced the risk of having a cardiovascular event by 14 percent (no reduction in mortality).
            Mozaffarian, 2010[13] 19% reduction in Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) events by replacing saturated fatty acids (SFA) with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). (Note: the study included n-3 fatty acids in the PUFA group).
            Siri-Tarino, 2010[1] No significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.
            Danaei, 2009[14] Intervention studies replacing SFA with PUFA showed an insignificant relative risk (1.01-1.04) for ischemic heart disease (IHD).
            Mente, 2009[15] Insignificant
            Skeaff, 2009[16] Reduced events by substituting PUFA
            Jakobsen, 2009[17] 5% SFA replaced with PUFA: 13% decrease in events, 26% decrease in deaths
            Van Horn, 2008[18] 25-35% fats but <7% SFA and TFA reduces risk.
            Chanu, 2003[19] Significant in longer term.
            Hu, 1999[20] Eating nuts in place of SFA gave 45% reduction.
            Truswell, 1994[21] Decrease SFA and cholesterol intake, partial replacement with PUFA: 6% reduced deaths, 13% reduced events

            1. re: mcf

              Here are more specific reasons about why this study is flawed: http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2014o...

              1. re: Val

                http://www.sciencemag.org/content/291...

                And:

                http://www.gatsby.ucl.ac.uk/~pel/fat/...

                "For 20 years, for instance, the Harvard School of Public Health has run the Nurses' Health Study and its two sequelae--the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Nurses' Health Study II--accumulating over a decade of data on the diet and health of almost 300,000 Americans. The results suggest that total fat consumed has no relation to heart disease risk; that monounsaturated fats like olive oil lower risk; and that saturated fats are little worse, if at all, than the pasta and other carbohydrates that the Food Guide Pyramid suggests be eaten copiously."

                1. re: mcf

                  Data in the first article is more than 20 years old.

                  The second piece of writing is more than 15 years old.

                  Both are too old to be considered as credible medical sources.

                  Taubes as a source doesn't work (not only because what you linked to his dated writing and has been superceded by current medical science), but because he reinforces your own bias towards consumption of animal fat, a consumption that Taubes shares. That's an issue you continue to dismiss.

                  I realize this issue is personal to you, and that you feel eating saturated fat has made an important turnaround in your own illnesses and suffering, as you have stated.

                  However, it is not wise, nor prudent, nor safe, for you to presume your "cure" from eating saturated fats would at all be helpful to others, in fact, it may be damaging.

                  Your advocacy of eating saturated fat -- saying that they are benign -- may actually harm others' health.

                  That caution should have gravity.

                  1. re: maria lorraine

                    I am going to take issue with you about the old data. Data is data, old or new. If it shows something valid, then its age doesn't matter.

                    You have mentioned mcf's "vested interest" in this issue. I am asking you to come clean. What is your vested interest? You obviously feel strongly about this.

                    It seems to me that mcf has learned through her own research what diet made her healthy. You can't argue against that. If it did, how can you argue against a low carb, higher fat diet, at least as unequivocally as you do.

                    Why is this an issue for you?

                    1. re: sueatmo

                      I've clearly stated why: Erroneous information can be harmful to the health of those who believe it.

                      That's important. See above.

                    2. re: maria lorraine

                      Are you seriously suggesting that Science is not a credible source? Data are data, it doesn't matter when they were collected. Just because a study is 20 - or 100 - years old doesn't make it invalid.

                      The issue of saturated fats and heart disease is complex, and clearly much more work needs to be done to understand the relationship - if any exists. This current Annals of Internal Medicine story adds another piece of knowledge, just like the Science articles cited above did.

                  2. re: Val

                    I'm not sure why you think that linking to random sites on the internet refutes peer reviewed journals. Not that the latter is infallible, but the former is far worse.

            2. I thought margarine was discredited years ago, isn't the hydrogenated oils (like margarine and its cousins in masquerade) that are shunned now?

              1. So I get a free pass to gorge on burgers and bacon?

                31 Replies
                1. re: smoledman

                  well just temper that with at least SOME fiber and cruciferous vegetables would ya? or I am NOT driving you to the med center for a colonoscopy. OK?

                  they make the driver stay around and it's boring. plus they are so stingy on smoking areas.

                    1. re: smoledman

                      hey keep my fingerprints off that train wreck, I'm no nutritionist, much less a forensic one.

                      1. re: hill food

                        So you're not game for the Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza? The one with 5 different kinds of cheeses(it's a BIG trade secret)!

                        1. re: smoledman

                          And I'm just thrilled to not feel guilty about eating eggs!

                          There has been a recent study that heavy meat eaters tend to get colon cancer.

                          But I read a summary of the above study and rejoiced.

                          If you eat too fat, you will gain weight, though.

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            The colon cancer connection has been debunked repeatedly for all but high consumption of chemically cured meats. Which are commonly eaten on hero rolls, with deli salads.

                            Colon cancer, like breast, ovarian and prostate, is most highly associated with hyperinsulinemia, which comes from carbs, not protein nor fat.

                            1. re: mcf

                              That's a completely inaccurate statement:

                              Harvard -- Red Meat and Colon cancer

                              Although the results vary, studies from around the world have suggested that a high consumption of meat is linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. In all cases the worry is confined to red meat, not chicken.

                              The best evidence comes from a pair of large 2005 studies, one from Europe, the other from the United States. The European research tracked 478,000 men and women who were free of cancer when the study began. The people who ate the most red meat (about 5 ounces a day or more) were about a third more likely to develop colon cancer than those who ate the least red meat (less than an ounce a day on average). Their consumption of chicken did not influence risk one way or the other, but a high consumption of fish appeared to reduce the risk of colon cancer by about a third.

                              The U.S. study added important information about the effects of long-term meat consumption. The subjects were 148,610 people between the ages of 50 and 74. A high consumption of red and processed meats was linked with a substantial increase in the risk of cancer in the lower colon and rectum. Conversely, the long-term consumption of large amounts of fish and poultry appeared protective.

                              These two studies are impressive, and they don’t stand alone. A meta-analysis of 29 studies of meat consumption and colon cancer concluded that a high consumption of red meat increases risk by 28%, and a high consumption of processed meat increases risk by 20%.

                              http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/upd...

                              ----

                              Eating Meat May Raise Colon Cancer Risk

                              May 23, 2011 -- Red meat and processed meat may increase the risk of developing colon cancer, according to a new report from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund.

                              The report, which builds on the two groups' 2007 Continuous Update Project, points to solid evidence that eating less red meat and avoiding processed meat altogether can slash colon cancer risk.

                              When this advice is combined with other diet and lifestyle changes -- such as consuming less alcohol, boosting fiber intake, exercising, and maintaining a healthy body weight -- it could prevent 45% of all colon cancer cases, or more than 64,000 cases of colon cancer each year, the report states.

                              Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer diagnosed in the U.S., excluding skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.

                              "The good news is that we have some control over our colon cancer risk," says Elisa Bandera, MD, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology, Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick. Bandera was a member of the expert panel that analyzed all of the available literature on colon cancer risk, diet, exercise, and weight.

                              http://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cance...

                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                But they are lumping "red and processed meats" together. Even to dumb little me, that's like the previous generation of studies lumping margarine and butter together. How stupid.

                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                  You confuse the fact that something made it to print with scientific accuracy. It's not true, the data and methodology do not support it.

                                  Wasn't "Harvard" (a school, not a researcher) on the HRT bandwagon for all 25 years, proclaiming it protected us form all sorts of ills it was actually causing?

                                  Read Taubes; it's in the book.

                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                    Studies blow like the wind, but for argument sake, let just say a Harvard study showed a link between increased sexual activity & increases in certain types of cancer. Does that mean we all should or would abstain ;-(

                                    1. re: Tom34

                                      I think in that case you would do what you wanted to do anyway!

                                      But, in terms of accuracy in medical "headlines," you look for a confluence of opinion across many current peer-reviewed, journal-published studies, not a single study that goes against the tide. You look at who funded the study, conflicts of interest listed, and if the study has since been found to be superceded. All those factors apply to the many inaccuracies in this thread purported to be "truth."

                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                        The one thing that is most unreliable is "composite opinion."

                                        That explains a lot. Read the data and methodology to see if they support the opinion and don't make declarative statements until you do.

                                        That's what got women 25 years of cancer, dementia and heart disease, protected baby murderers in the case of SIDS, and on and on.

                                        Taubes read all the studies and is an expert at analysis.

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          Even if he didn't have a personal bias, relying on Taubes as any sort of single backup source for your claims, doesn't pass scientific muster.

                                          Even though Taubes' writing is "researched," the information is being filtered through Taubes' lens, which is clearly clouded by his own mindset/behavior. We can all cherry-pick info that's in agreement with our existing bias.

                                          The sources you've cited aren't even close to being sufficient, in terms of being credible, reproducible science.

                                          When many groups of scientists research the same issue, independently, and come to the same conclusion repeatedly, that's worth a great deal. Your saying it isn't is complete hogwash.

                                          1. re: maria lorraine

                                            You have no way of knowing that; unlike Gary Taubes and folks like me.

                                            Gary Taubes' diet followed his research, not the other way around.

                                            Gary Taubes is an award winning science journalist. Read the book.

                                          2. re: mcf

                                            "The one thing that is most unreliable is "composite opinion.""

                                            Actually, quite the opposite. Several studies indicate that a large group yields more accurate decisions than one highly trained individual. I completely agree with maria - science runs on consensus. When dozens or hundreds of studies all point in the same direction, then that most likely is the likely scenario.

                                            1. re: foreverhungry

                                              consensus has been bought by pharma and other businesses and reinforces corrupt ahd harmful practices in what passes for medical science.

                                              Witness the diabolical stupidity promulgated on diet, nutrition, statins and routine HRT poisoning giant swaths of the population due to "consensus" based on profits, not public health.

                                              If there exists any objective, uncorrupted scientific research, consensus would be valuable there. right now, it's the death knell of public health and good practices.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                I work in public health, and come from a physiology research background, working mainly on metabolic rate. I read objective, uncorrupted scientific research on health every day.

                                                As others have said, it is important to consider potential conflicts of interest when reading the scientific literature. And I completely agree that pharma has run amok.

                                                All of said, there is still much to be understood about heart disease.

                                                1. re: foreverhungry

                                                  I wasn't suggesting there are no uncorrupted studies, only corrupt and bought consensus guidelines.

                                                  Not just pharma, whole industries, from dialysis to joint replacement and amputationa,weight loss surgery, depend on the bad "consensus" opinoions that medical officials put their names to and punish and ostracize their peers who don't follow ironically labeled "best practices."

                                          3. re: maria lorraine

                                            "I think in that case you would do what you wanted to do anyway!"

                                            I think most people will continue to do the same in moderation with red meat.

                                            1. re: Tom34

                                              But other people will use the information to gorge* on red meat and saturated fat, as if the faulty claims in this thread have given them permission. That's the danger.

                                              * or simply eat too much

                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                Anyone who "gorges" on anything has other issues beyond this one.

                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                  I think that just about all studies would back you up on that one!

                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                    Or, "eats more saturated fat than is healthy."

                                                  2. re: maria lorraine

                                                    I hope so, maybe they'll stop eating corn and grain all day like feed lot animals and getting sick along with them. :-)

                                                    The truth is, folks who eat fat and protein as a higher percentage of diet, tend to eat less due to how satiating it is. And how much it limits appetite the rest of the day, unlike high carbs, which promote overeating.

                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                      Agree with you that corn and grain are issues. Finally, some common ground after all your misinformation.

                                                2. re: maria lorraine

                                                  How many studies did it take to condemn saturated fat in the first place?

                                2. re: smoledman

                                  No free pass.

                                  The study found some saturated fats harmful but not all of them.

                                  Animal fats are still harmful and contribute to heart disease because you can't separate out the good saturated acids from the bad ones.

                                  The palmitic and stearic acids in animal fats and palm oil are still bad. Heptadecanoic acid [margaric acid] appeared to lower heart risk, but you can't ingest it alone and not ingest the bad fats it occurs with.

                                  Word to the wise.

                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                    You have to separate fats from feedlot production from unpolluted sources of saturated fats before reaching any conclusions.

                                    I've reduced my CVD risk markers from highest decile to below average on a high sat fat diet for 15 years.

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      That's not in the study.

                                      None of this is about the source of animal fats or any other saturated fat.

                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                        I thought we were onto a much broader issue of saturated fats and myriad studies.

                                        I have edited my posts to remove personal snark.

                                        I really don't see any point in us engaging on this point anymore, it's beyond redundant already.

                                  2. re: smoledman

                                    yes, just skip the bun, fries, Coke and fried apple pie. :-)

                                  3. As someone who ignores these sorts of studies, pro and con, I would love to believe that what these researchers say is true, but it is just one study, even if it is based on 72 other studies. What I mean is that no/few other researchers have reached this conclusion, so why, suddenly, should we believe this study?

                                    Enjoy your meat, fat, milk and cheese but eat a balanced diet and ignore all these studies!

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: gfr1111

                                      I think the original declaration against saturated fat was based on much less.

                                      EDIT: But agree 100% about the balanced diet.

                                      1. re: gfr1111

                                        This is neither new nor sudden nor unique. This was written about years ago by Dan Taubes in his book "Good Calories, Bad Calories," in which he looked at most of the studies going back to the original Framingham study, which made the original (incorrect) assumption/ connection, and he did a pretty good job of puching holes in all of them, all thoroughly researched and sourced and based on the published work of other respected scientists.

                                        But he got shouted down by those who just didn't want to believe it. If this is the first time you're hearing about it, that's why. But it's not the first time it's been said, nor the first time the myth has been debunked.

                                          1. re: smoledman

                                            Yes, thanks for the correction. Don't know how I messed that up -- it's been a while since I read it.

                                        1. re: gfr1111

                                          Here's a review of many studies: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/ear...

                                          If you choose to believe all the erroneous studies on sat fat that came before, why stop there?

                                        2. What is there evidence of?

                                          Maybe researchers can find evidence that Bigfoot tastes better grilled than sous vide.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            There's a lot of evidence of ideology and no credible science behind the original low cholesterol/low fat debacle.

                                            And look around you at the results. Now diabetes and other drug makers are reaping the financial benefits of the low fat high starch failed experiment.

                                            Some of the countries with the highest intakes of saturated fats are also among those with lower incidence of cardiovascular mortality.

                                          2. The study changes nothing. Animal fats still contribute to heart disease.

                                            The study found some saturated fats in animal fats (and elsewhere) still were as bad as ever but a couple weren't so bad.

                                            Trouble is, you can't eat only the good saturated fatty acids without also eating the bad.

                                            Any other take on the study hasn't read it or understood it.

                                            The actual study:
                                            http://annals.org/article.aspx?articl...

                                            17 Replies
                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                That has never been established, even in those who eat mostly animal fat for their nutrition.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  That's what the study says. Read closely.

                                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                                    I've been reading all the literature closely for decades, including careful analysis of studies purporting to have found a causal role for saturated fats in heart disease.

                                                    Such a connection has never been found in cvd mortality, despite all assertions to the contrary.

                                                    I'll just say we're working from very different understandings of the foundations of the studies on fats. If you want to read unassailably accurate discussion of the matter, read Gary Taubes exhaustively researched work on the subject.

                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                      I'm referring to the study in your OP.

                                                      The information in the study contradicts what you have posted here.

                                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                                        I've provided quite a lot of information and sources on this topic. Folks can read, pay careful attention to what's stated vs. what's actually supported by the research and make their own inferences.

                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                          The trouble is, most folks won't go to that effort, which increases the risk of them being misled by inaccurate statements.

                                                          1. re: maria lorraine

                                                            I worry that they'll be misled by those who accept the junk science leading to the belief that saturated fats cause heart disease.

                                                            That's why I suggest Gary Taubes both for his assiduous research, documentation and specialty in exposing junk science, first cold fusion, now nutrition and metabolism.

                                                            Of course folks without enough interest or concern about it won't read it and they'll go on making erroneous statements and choices.

                                                            Your body, your science experiment.

                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                              Here's a description of Gary Taubes body-science experiment, from his blog:

                                                              ""I do indeed eat three eggs with cheese, bacon and sausage for breakfast every morning, typically a couple of cheeseburgers (no bun) or a roast chicken for lunch, and more often than not, a rib eye or New York steak (grass fed) for dinner, usually in the neighborhood of a pound of meat. I cook with butter and, occasionally, olive oil (the sausages). My snacks run to cheese and almonds. So lots of fat and saturated fat and very little carbohydrates."

                                                2. re: maria lorraine

                                                  Amen sister! Let's keep the vegan flame alive!

                                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                                    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/ear...

                                                    Surrogate markers don't matter; clinical outcomes do. http://discovermagazine.com/2004/oct/...

                                                    The highest sat fat eating countries are among the lowest in CVD. Framingham found the high saturated fat eaters had the lowest stroke incidence.

                                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                                      I am far more concerned about the potential negative health effects of highly processed foods, commonly used preservatives & farm raised seafood from certain countries than a nice hunk of red meat.

                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                        Me, too, though I am just as leary of factory farmed red meat as any other food, for a variety of reasons.

                                                      2. re: maria lorraine

                                                        Not certain I agree that it changes nothing. What it indicates is that the bad vs good debate over saturated animal fats vs unsaturated fats wasn't as simplistic as has been portrayed by health professionals.

                                                        And we are seeing more and more studies that refute the wisdom of generally accepted health advice. For example:

                                                        1. This study shows animal fats are not the evil and dangerous food they were thought to be. And whilst here are links to heart disease they are weak links.

                                                        2. Low fat/protein diets and calorie counting is being shown to be a poor weight control strategy. A balanced diet with a higher ratio of protein and fat is best, a high ratio of carbohydrate is not good (and this turns US/UK diet advice on its head - and is still not accepted by many).

                                                        3. Processed foods, especially low fat foods are far from healthy as they contain far too much carbohydrate often in the form of sugar to substitute for the fats.

                                                        4. We eat far too much, and we eat too much because we eat the wrong things. We need a balanced diet with fresh food and a move away from processed and fast food e.g. a pizza chains cheeseburger crust pizza that weighs in at 2,880 calories.

                                                        5. Exercise is good.

                                                        Bottom line is its OK to eat animal fats, dairy is fine, but also eat lots of veggies and fruit. Avoid processed food (to reduce added sugars and salts) and you will have a healthy diet and don't lead a sedan try diet. You will still die but maybe not as soon as if you kept eating high carb/sugar diets.

                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                            Even if you don't live longer, you'll have better quality of life.

                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                              Great point. Whenever I tried (foolish of me) to talk my mother into something like getting rid of the margarine, she would always say something clever (not!) about not wanting to live any longer and wanting to enjoy her margarine instead.

                                                              My point always was that I didn't care as much about the LONGER as I do about feeling good while I am alive.

                                                        1. Mcf,

                                                          This is completely incorrect, and not borne out by the study:

                                                          "They found no evidence to support guidelines that say people should restrict saturated fat consumption to lower their risk of developing heart disease."

                                                          1. You can die driving home from work Or the grocery store. On a jog/run.
                                                            Either way, you ARE going to DIE. Uhm, just what happens to living organisms?

                                                            Eat well.
                                                            Love well.
                                                            Live well.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: pedalfaster

                                                              THIS.
                                                              THIS.
                                                              THIS.

                                                              Times infinity raised to the power of infinity.

                                                            2. I was waiting for someone, I predicted you, to open the can of worms :)

                                                              1. http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/ne...
                                                                The university PR summary that is the source for most news outlet articles on this paper.

                                                                According to this the lead author still considers the consumption of red meat to be risky, not due to the saturated fats, but due to L-carnitine. That possible link was discussed a year ago in http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/897479 (synthesis of TMAO by gut bacteria).

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                  Very odd, because L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine are used to treat angina and other heart conditions.

                                                                  The nexus of this discussion is the effect of saturated fats on heart disease, and whether or not they are contributory.

                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                    Purely speculative having nothing to do with clinical outcomes, must a bizarre obsession with surrogate markers.

                                                                    Only real life clinical outcomes matter. We know that an all meat diet does not promote CVD because it's been studied, verified and the rest is just marketing.

                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                      However who wants to eat an all-meat diet? Sometimes you just want some bread!

                                                                        1. re: smoledman

                                                                          Who said you can't have a boatload of veggies along with your meat?

                                                                          Nobody.

                                                                    2. With age comes wisdom and many of the risk taking adventures and terrible habits of youth are long gone for me but getting together with family & friends and enjoying rich delicious food in moderation with a glass of wine, beer or cocktail is a risk I am willing to take and have no plans on giving them up anytime soon.

                                                                      1. You won't find margarine in my home, it is butter. I also have heavy cream on hand and I have some lard on hand too.

                                                                        1. I remember listing to a women nutriitionist on NPR, maybe 15 years ago, who said that switching people away from meat to soy products was one of the biggest scams foisted on the American public. At this time there was no debate, animal fat was BAD! She said that because of the abundance of by products created in the processing of soybean oil the industry secretly funded studies that supported their claims.I don't remember specifics but one of her claims was that animal fats had powerful anti-carcinogenic properties. To me @ the time I dismissed her as a shill for the cattle industry but maybe she knew what she was talking about.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: zackly

                                                                            It was very likely the lipids researcher Mary Enig. Lipids researchers also believe that 30% or less fat in the diet is insufficient for supply of essential fatty acids needed for normal brain and immune function.

                                                                          2. My dad had a heart attack at 92.Lived to be 93.His diet was OK. He liked his food. With a little bit of a sweet tooth.He always said you have to eat your root vegtables. And fast food will kill you. But he did like his salty meats.His sister is still going strong for 98. I guess you have it or you don't.

                                                                            1. http://garytaubes.com/2012/03/science...

                                                                              "Systematic errors can be and often are larger than random errors, and failure to appreciate their impact is potentially disastrous. The problem is magnified in large studies and pooling projects, for in those studies the large size reduces the amount of random error, and as a result the random error may be but a small component of total error. In such studies, a focus on “statistical significance” or even on confidence limits may amount to nothing more than a decision to focus on artifacts of systematic error as if they reflected a real causal effect."

                                                                              http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/mag...

                                                                              http://garytaubes.com/wp-content/uplo...

                                                                              http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/mag...

                                                                              1. This whole study seems out of date. Professionals these days don't recommend margarine, nor do they recommend oils with a very high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. This article's author seems to think that omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are essentially the same thing.

                                                                                This study would have made sense 10-15 years ago, but not today. And given the alternatives that it is comparing against, this study can't really claim that saturated fat isn't bad for you.

                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                1. re: calumin

                                                                                  I think its a lot about nothing.

                                                                                  As Sandylc pointed out above, to much of anything is not usually a good thing.

                                                                                  To little of certain nutriments is usually not a good thing. Many long term health problems linked to deficiencies.

                                                                                  Genetics seems to be the real factor. Many people have cut out virtually all saturated fats and still have to take medication.

                                                                                  Balanced diet, exercise & maintaining proper height / weight ratio should be more of a concern for the average person.

                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                    Genetics create predispositions, yes. But outcomes are usually very readily altered by changes in lifestyle and diet. My genetics mean that at 59 I have outlived my grandparents, aunts, uncles, some by decades already. They died between 36 and 54 of heart, kidney, diabetes related failures.

                                                                                    I inherited the predisposition and completely reversed the progress of those conditions and a variety of serious risks that came with them, by changing my diet in a way completely onerous in terms of my dietary preferences.

                                                                                    My MIL, OTOH, stayed skinny, fit for life, active and loved sweets above all else. Sadly, she's still thin and fit at 83, but in a dementia unit. She's been diabetic for years, which creates a much higher risk of dementia. She can't remember what she should eat any more or she'd do all she could to avoid dementia. She still loves cookies and desserts.

                                                                                    "Balance" is a meaningless term when it comes to diet; average people are all different, with metabolisms that vary wildly from person to person. Define balance in that context. :-)

                                                                                    BMI is a discredited risk marker; the fittest folks with the most muscle have high BMI. Waist to hip ratio is more accurately predictive of risk.

                                                                                    Finally, it's not all about nothing. I'm passionate about it because it's all based on lies, obfuscation and drug targets. One Harvard researcher was quoted months ago telling the truth; "drug companies own medicine." I know many doctors who say the same with resignation and disgust. Harvard med students staged a protest not that long ago, over being taught to employ corporate funder's drugs and devices and not patient care.

                                                                                    People are experiencing epidemic levels of amputations, crippling conditions and suffering due to government and industry nutrition guidelines that have failed miserably. Just look around you at the result.

                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                      Another HUGE point here - about the drug culture. Doctors are brainwashed to treat illness with drugs, not to promote health. There is no money in health. We trust physicians to help us to be healthy, but they are trained and paid to feed us drugs that squelch symptoms and cause further dis-health.

                                                                                      Food companies, also, contribute. They openly make (unhealthy) processed food that is actually addictive - this is their stated goal, not exaggeration.

                                                                                      Famous paraphrased quote by a CEO of a large pharma company: "Sick people are taking our drugs, now we have to figure out how to get healthy people to take them." This comes from the people who are essentially in control of our medical "industry". BTW, I try as often as possible to use the word "medical" rather than "healthcare". The word "healthcare" is inaccurate and inappropriate. It's all about the snake oil, not about the health. Don't get me started on how this partnership in this mega industry loves to discredit "alternative" HEALTHcare.

                                                                                      You don't have to look far to discover that it's a scary world out there and the people who are supposed to help us are hurting us instead.

                                                                                      Off topic? No. People have been getting bad dietary advice from doctors for at least my lifetime, and probably longer. It is a rare doctor who knows ANYTHING about health and diet, and a common occurrence for the rare dietary advice to be wrong.

                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                        My family includes a pharma exec, 3 Cardiologists, one surgeon, & 3 RN's. Some pretty spirited debates have taken place over the years but one common theme when it comes to medication, for every desired outcome there is an undesired outcome. Their advice is only take medication when all else has failed and stay out of hospitals, they kill.

                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                          It is lucky for you that the law/culture allows them to be honest with you, a relative. The rest of us have to find these things out for ourselves, and this is grossly, hideously wrong. I am permanently damaged by medical practices that are common, everyday treatments.

                                                                                          BTW, I did not enjoy any of the desired outcomes, only undesired ones, with extra for more fun.

                                                                                        2. re: sandylc

                                                                                          "Doctors are brainwashed to treat illness with drugs, not to promote health."
                                                                                          _______
                                                                                          Strictly speaking, this is a half-truth. If you talk to many actual doctors offhand, you'll hear plenty of criticism of some widely accepted medical practices. (Or if you want to hear some elaborate criticism of American medicine, try this if you have the opportunity - find an RN who works in an ICU, split a bottle of wine with em, and let em rant).

                                                                                          Dietary science for [relatively] healthy populations is poorly covered and often out-of-date in med schools, nursing schools, etc. But many medical professionals take a personal interest in diet. It often doesn't translate to medical practice though. There is a reason for this.

                                                                                          For better or worse (ok, for worse), we live in a society where a great many people seem to think that a simple pill or treatment can fix any problems caused by lifestyle. They don't go to the doctor or the hospital wanting to be told to radically change their diet or lifestyle (and in many cases they don't have to resources to do so anyway). They show up expecting to be fixed, not guided.

                                                                                          So, let's put that huge, costly, time-consuming group aside and consider the rest of the population. As for the rest, there is a split between people who follow relatively sound (though still sometimes flawed) dietary and lifestyle principles, and those who latch onto some crackpot theory without any real evidence whatsoever. The latter group, more often than not, cannot be persuaded to give up their delusions, and will shop around for a doctor who humors them until they find one.

                                                                                          My point is that an unhealthy lifestyle is in many ways a cultural problem, not merely a failure of the medical institution. The medical institution has its share of failure, but blaming those failures on 'brainwashed' individuals is somewhat off base. Those failures, more often than not, are more institutional or cultural than personal. Individual pharmacologists often see medications as having great situational benefits (and rightly so) while opposing over-prescription, but corporate policy and shareholding demands maximum profits. So drugs are tested and marketed irresponsibly, despite the reservations of a good many people who work in the company that developed said drug. Nearly every doctor or nurse I've ever known has had reservations about over-treating patients; but with time and policy constraints, the goal quickly becomes to ensure acceptable outcomes, rather than promote optimal ones.

                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                            Thank you. It's true there are indoctrinated, entrenched paths in research, but is also true that medical insights and innovation are coming from other than traditional pathways. Medical innovation has borrowed a great deal from the methods by which tech innovation happens, coming from the fringes of the industry or from the small independent company or thinker. Part of the reason for the innovation and emphasis on healthy lifestyle and less pharma is that HMOs save money and ease the load on staff by treating fewer patient illnesses, and they're pouring huge amounts of dollars into lifestyle research, in addition to illness treatment research.

                                                                                        3. re: mcf

                                                                                          Thats kind of my point that its an individual thing and what works for one person may not work for another. BMI is a good starting point but like most things there are many variables. When I used to power lift my muscle mass inflated the numbers which affected my life insurance premiums. Nothings perfect.

                                                                                          When I say its often about nothing I am referring to jumping on the most recent study bandwagon. My feeling is each individual has to look at their family history, their body weight based on their muscle / fat ratio, their daily exercise level and their blood work results.

                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                            My family is of a similar structure.
                                                                                            I take the position of defining my diet based upon ancestral diet and DNA. We eat meat. We eat veg, we eat some healthy fat (antibiotic free) and lesser/seasonal based fruit. Grains and processed foods are enjoyable but not necessary for health. Sometimes adverse to health in excess.

                                                                                            Sometimes we feast, sometimes we famine. We always drink water. We exercise daily.

                                                                                            It is hard to go wrong with the primal approach, adjusted to your individual needs. Nothing "tabu" ....but keeping in mind that humans are animals with a natural, ancestral diet as are other animals. The farther we stray from that, the more we have problems. I eat about 80 to 90 percent primal, the other percent, I eat what industry made tasty (but not very healthy). I hope to remain lean and mean throughout my years, if I put on a few pounds or lack energy, I adjust the diet. It is actually fairly simple.
                                                                                            Protein and exercise is key to keeping muscle into the 70's and beyond. I am amazed at the difference in elderly people's fitness and functioning. Some 75 year olds are still working out and doing sports, some are in wheelchairs with missing limbs. It's quite shocking and certainly not all due to "genetics". Lifestyle is key

                                                                                    2. Just a quick reminder, folks, that conversations need to focus on the issue, not on the posters involved in them. Many of the posts in this thread have involved analyzing other people's motives, backgrounds, etc, and it's not very friendly. If you can't disagree without making it personal, please step away from the discussion. Thanks.

                                                                                      1. My own amateur understanding of it all is that it comes down to damage due to high blood pressure. Once high BP has begun to rupture the walls of veins and arteries, cholesterol snags on the scar tissue and then on itself, building up until the body covers the whole thing with calcium to prevent further buildup. This is the plaque that forms in arteries.

                                                                                        Now in a young healthy body, there is (one hopes) no damage for the cholesterol to attach to, and so saturated fat/cholesterol has little bearing on the person's heart health beyond caloric intake. Cholesterol just slides on through until the body can process it out.

                                                                                        But once high blood pressure has done the damage, all bets are off. At that point then yes, saturated fat leads to cholesterol and that leads to clogged arteries (it's not the fat clogging them but the calcium buildup). And once that damage has begun there is no way of knowing how much damage there is, how many opportunities for buildup have begun, and therefore there is no responsible choice but to reduce dietary saturated fat even if BP is brought back to normal through whatever means.

                                                                                        It's complex, and nutrition is a very young science. Absolute assertions are probably wrong one way or another at this point.

                                                                                        16 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                          Blood pressure problems are a symptom of metabolic syndrome, typically driven by diet choices. It's not causal, it's part of the whole problem, one of the first to be remedied in most folks who improve their insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia with dietary changes.

                                                                                          One thing that happens when you swap out fresh veggies and meat for starch and sugar is the potassium, magnesium in your diet ratchets way up, and inflammation goes way down. BP drops like a rock on low carb diets, typically.

                                                                                          Two year old children, on biopsy, have cholesterol deposits; it strengthens the vessels and makes them smooth. It does not cause heart disease, though a pattern of lipid ratios and particle size is a marker for the metabolic syndrome that does cause CVD. Very small particle size of LDL, VLDL, can become atherosclerotic, but no matter how high your LDL is if it's larger particle size, it's not. And high HDL/low triglycerides is a marker for harmless large particle LDL, like I have.

                                                                                          Low carb/high fat is the dietary pattern that promotes these protective ratios, including saturted fats, preferably from non inflammatory non factory farmed sources.

                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                            Just to be clear, I think you mean to say, "swap out the starch and sugar for fresh veggies and meat", not the other way around,,,,

                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                The carb conversion to sugar is pretty well established. I am surprised the Gov. has not said more about the carb problem. I often wonder how much $$ plays a part in whether big bro open its mouth or not.

                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                  Does the $$ conspiracy extend to the UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Japan, Canada, and many other countries? The USA isn't the only country that has nutrition and health agencies. Why isn't the UK National Health Service condemning carbs as forcefully as you'd like?

                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                    I don't know Paul. I am not saying all carbs are bad but the science is pretty clear regarding what happens to unburned carbs.

                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                      I, too, have been having trouble understanding the whole carb controversy. Clearly, whole grains have more nutrients and fiber than stripped-out white ones. But are carbs themselves truly an enemy? I don't buy the whole "cavemen didn't farm grains so we shouldn't either" line. And doesn't half the planet owe much of its subsistence to white rice? Maybe the combination of white carbs with preservatives/additives and low protein/veg/fruit consumption is a problem? How do prescription/OTC drugs and pesticides and such contribute to this cocktail that we're stirring up in our systems?

                                                                                                      Too many studies are looking for the definitive single bullet to blame disease upon.

                                                                                                      I was once part of a study at a major university. I spent a day being poked and prodded and donating bodily fluids. Then I had to report every single thing I'd put in my mouth over the previous week.

                                                                                                      Well, the food part didn't go so well. I could see the computer screen, and the person was fudging everything I told her because the study wasn't set up to handle scratch cooking. Most of what I'd eaten wasn't listed with a little box to check off, so she just made stuff up. I don't know if my results were thrown out or not, but I hope so. Clearly my type of eating was either not represented in that study or else it was falsely represented.

                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                        I think its a lot of things. Lifestyles have changed. Better than 1/2 the men don't cut their lawns or do any outdoor yard work. Same for women with house cleaning.

                                                                                                        Two full time house hold incomes leave less time for home cooked meals which results in consuming more processed food. Just think about the size of the avg supermarket in the 60's & 70's and look at today's. Isle after isle of processed junk.

                                                                                                        Decrease exercise & increase carb and sugar intake and the expected results would pretty much mirror whats going on today.

                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                          Carbs aren't evil, but excessive carbs are, especially when these carbs replace fats/proteins in processed food. So the issue is the ratio of carbs/sugars in the diet is its got out of balance as fat and protein has been demonised.

                                                                                                          The problem with the "And doesn't half the planet owe much of its subsistence to white rice?" argument is that it ignores the amount of rice eaten. Portions were in fact relatively small, usually with some protein (tofu not always meat) and quid a lot of animal fat. And now that Chinese and Indian diets are improving (in terms of quantity and variety) both countries are seeing a massive rise in diabetes and obesity especially amongst the new middle classes.

                                                                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                            and what are the new middle classes eating? More rice? sweets? meat?

                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                              More of everything, but there is a massive rise in fast food. Pizza's and burgers are very popular.

                                                                                                        2. re: paulj

                                                                                                          Paul - it is alleged to, and I think research funding in most countries follows a similar model. However, not certain it's a conspiracy which implies collusion, I would think it's more of a convergence with companies only (logically) sponsoring research, promoting results that benefit them.

                                                                                                          And why isn't the UK condemning carbs, well my view is that they are caught up in the orthodoxy of the diet lobby/industry that started with Ancel Keys in the '50's, and was then accelerated by Senator McGovern in the '70's. I suspect this orthodoxy became so embedded in nutrition science, especially at the fringes it became very hard to make counter arguments - career success in all countries was based on toeing the line.

                                                                                                          The low fat/calorie counting mantra became a dogma that has been very hard to shift. Unfortunately after nearly 30 years of this advice obesity rates are still rising so thankfully people are going back to the basic science to understand why.....and it seems the the dogma much of the nutrition/diet industry is based on is flawed. However, as with all science it doesn't mean it's all wrong i.e. moderating consumption extreme is good (in other words animal fat isn't bad, but too much is bad) and balance is everything.

                                                                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                            http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com...

                                                                                                            Calorie Intake and the US Obesity Epidemic

                                                                                                            Stephan Guyenet shows that there is a strong correlation between obesity rates and total excess calories. The correlation is similar for all 3 macronutrient categories.

                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                              Its a strong correlation and clearly eating too much makes you fat.

                                                                                                              The issue is that the simplistic approach to dieting (which was the commonly accepted mantra) that only focuses on reducing calories and not understanding, or including, how the body processes different food groups and how appetite is controlled. So reduce calories by taking out fat makes sense when calorie counting, and its even better because high fat intakes are implicated in heart disease. A double win. But it is only part of the story.

                                                                                                              So unfortunately the result has not been a reduction in obesity but instead an increase in obesity and caloric intake. That is illogical - if we focus on counting calories and reduce fat why is this happening?

                                                                                                              Well the underlying science tells jus that a balanced diet helps. The fats satiate the appetite and reduce consumption; a balanced diet reduces excess carbohydrate so it isn't converted and stored as fat; and moderation in consumption (portion size, snacking etc) reduces intake.

                                                                                                              So yes eating more makes you fat, but the way to reduce intake isn't by simply counting calories, its as much the type of food (less processed, more vegetables and fruit etc etc) you eat as the amount you eat.

                                                                                                              1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                But his data shows that we (collectively in the USA) are not counting calories. That is, we are not reducing caloric intake. Yes, various sources urge us to do so, but that isn't happening in practice.

                                                                                                                Guyenet writes quite a bit about the psychology of eating. While he has some sympathy with the low-carb diet, he is not sold on that being 'the' solution.

                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                  Sorry I wasn't clear. I agree that is what the data says, so despite the diet orthodoxy of the last 30 or 40 years why has that happened. I postulate that it is "the quality of the diet that drives the quantity of the diet". So (simplistically) a broader balanced diet should influence appetite and reduce calorific intake.

                                                                                                                  I also don't think any specific "diet" (or fad) is the solution, the solution is to improve the overall diet of people.

                                                                                                                  I wonder if we need to ban/restrict fast food and soda...? I know that sounds very extreme but once measures were taken to address smoking it resulted in positive health impacts.

                                                                                                                  I read recently about rising youth obesity in India and China, and the explosion of fast food is thought to be one of the reasons. Is fast food an epidemic that is spreading around the world? If it were a disease we would want to do something about it, but as its a business we take a laissez-faire approach.

                                                                                                                  I know its emotive and tricky to regulate what people eat but its been done before to address mass health issues i.e. the Food Adulteration Act in 1860 in England.

                                                                                              2. There are so many posts in this thread, I may have missed clarification that the paper has been corrected. This happened after the reports about it in Medical News Today and other media sites. And there are calls for it to be retracted: 'Willett says correcting the paper isn't enough. "It is good that they fixed it for the record, but it has caused massive confusion and the public hasn't heard about the correction." The paper should be withdrawn, he argues.'

                                                                                                http://news.sciencemag.org/health/201...

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: drongo

                                                                                                  A huge number of errors, says the article.

                                                                                                  A long list of conflicts of interest are listed by the study authors in the study text itself.

                                                                                                  "They have done a huge amount of damage," says Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "I think a retraction with similar press promotion should be considered."

                                                                                                  -- "Scientists Fix Errors in Controversial Paper About Saturated Fats"

                                                                                                2. So....a news story today about the WHO announcing a connection between air pollution and stroke, heart disease, and cancer.

                                                                                                  http://news.msn.com/world/air-polluti...

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                    A big part of the pollution comes from cooking:
                                                                                                    “Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves,”

                                                                                                    http://gamapserver.who.int/gho/intera...

                                                                                                    What they are highlighting is an old problem. It must have plagued my Viking ancestors a thousand years ago.

                                                                                                  2. Forget saturated fat's effect on hardening arteries and contributing to heart disease for a moment.

                                                                                                    Instead, look at the effect of dietary saturated fat on:

                                                                                                    DIABETES, INSULIN RESISTANCE
                                                                                                    INFLAMMATION
                                                                                                    PROSTATE CANCER
                                                                                                    BREAST CANCER
                                                                                                    OBESITY
                                                                                                    FATTY LIVER DISEASE, LIVER DAMAGE
                                                                                                    VIRUSES
                                                                                                    COGNITIVE DECLINE, MEMORY DECLINE
                                                                                                    GENETICS
                                                                                                    OTHER DISEASES AND ISSUES
                                                                                                    CARBOHYDRATES AND SATURATED FAT

                                                                                                    I wanted to become more informed about this issue, so I went to the National Library of Medicine database, and searched for articles with saturated fat in the title, published in the last FIVE years.

                                                                                                    I found many other conditions and diseases influenced by the consumption of saturated fat. Not only heart disease.

                                                                                                    I've tried to be very fair here in showing the latest medical research so everyone can see it. I have removed no articles.

                                                                                                    All the articles are here, from the last five years, from all over the world and from different disciplines.

                                                                                                    The bulk of articles, clearly, is on the negative effect of consuming saturated fat.

                                                                                                    There are a few articles on the relationship between saturated fat having less impact with a low-carb diet. I've included those too, lest anyone think I am not giving due credit to the idea.

                                                                                                    Take a glance through the list.

                                                                                                    If you wish to read the actual studies,
                                                                                                    or to verify the search results, go here:

                                                                                                    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc

                                                                                                    Saturated Fat in the title, last five years, National Library of Medicine database:

                                                                                                    INSULIN RESISTANCE, DIABETES

                                                                                                    Individual saturated fatty acids are associated with different components of insulin resistance and glucose metabolism: the GOCADAN study
                                                                                                    Sven O.E. Int J Circumpolar Health. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 March 19.
                                                                                                    Published in final edited form as: Int J Circumpolar Health. 2010 September; 69(4): 344–351.

                                                                                                    Saturated Free Fatty Acids: Islet β Cell StressERs
                                                                                                    Raghavendra G. Mirmira
                                                                                                    Endocrine. Published in final edited form as: Endocrine. 2012 August; 42(1): 1–2.

                                                                                                    Kinetics of Saturated, Monounsaturated, and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Humans
                                                                                                    Robert H. Nelson,
                                                                                                    Diabetes. 2013 March; 62(3): 783–788. Published online 2013 February 14.

                                                                                                    Genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes is associated with impaired insulin secretion but does not modify insulin resistance or secretion in response to an intervention to lower dietary saturated fat
                                                                                                    Celia G. Walker, Genes Nutr. 2012 October; 7(4): 529–536.

                                                                                                    Cultured hypothalamic neurons are resistant to inflammation and insulin resistance induced by saturated fatty acids
                                                                                                    Sun Ju Choi, Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2010 June; 298(6): E1122–E1130.

                                                                                                    Effects of Adiposity on Plasma Lipid Response to Reductions in Dietary Saturated Fatty Acids and Cholesterol
                                                                                                    Michael R. Flock. Adv Nutr. 2011 May; 2(3): 261–274.

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    INFLAMMATION

                                                                                                    Saturated fatty acids activate TLR-mediated proinflammatory signaling pathways
                                                                                                    Shurong Huang, J Lipid Res. 2012 September; 53(9): 2002–2013. doi: 10.1194/jlr.D029546

                                                                                                    Lipin-2 Reduces Proinflammatory Signaling Induced by Saturated Fatty Acids in Macrophages
                                                                                                    Martín Valdearcos, J Biol Chem. 2012 March 30; 287(14): 10894–10904. Published online 2012 February 8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.342915

                                                                                                    Angptl4 protects against severe pro-inflammatory effects of dietary saturated fat by inhibiting lipoprotein lipase-dependent uptake of fatty acids in mesenteric lymph node macrophages.
                                                                                                    Laeticia Lichtenstein, Cell Metab.
                                                                                                    Cell Metab. 2010 December 1; 12(6): 580–592.

                                                                                                    Increased saturated fatty acids in obesity alter resolution of inflammation in part by stimulating prostaglandin production
                                                                                                    Jason Hellmann, J Immunol. 2013 August 1; 191(3): 1383–1392.

                                                                                                    Saturated Long Chain Fatty acids Activate Inflammatory Signaling in Astrocytes
                                                                                                    Sunita Gupta, J Neurochem.
                                                                                                    J Neurochem. 2012 March; 120(6): 1060–1071.

                                                                                                    Muscle cells challenged with saturated fatty acids mount an autonomous inflammatory response that activates macrophages
                                                                                                    Nicolas J Pillon, Cell Commun Signal. 2012; 10: 30.

                                                                                                    Effects of a Diet Enriched with Polyunsaturated, Saturated, or Trans Fatty Acids on Cytokine Content in the Liver, White Adipose Tissue, and Skeletal Muscle of Adult Mice
                                                                                                    Bruno dos Santos
                                                                                                    Mediators Inflamm. 2013; Published online 2013 August 20.

                                                                                                    Differential Effect of Saturated and Unsaturated Free Fatty Acids on the Generation of Monocyte Adhesion and Chemotactic Factors by Adipocytes: Dissociation of Adipocyte Hypertrophy From Inflammation
                                                                                                    Chang Yeop Han
                                                                                                    Diabetes. 2010 February; 59(2): 386–396.

                                                                                                    Nutraceutical agents with anti-inflammatory properties prevent dietary saturated-fat induced disturbances in blood–brain barrier function in wild-type mice
                                                                                                    Ryusuke Takechi
                                                                                                    J Neuroinflammation. 2013; 10: 73.

                                                                                                    Angptl4 protects against severe pro-inflammatory effects of dietary saturated fat by inhibiting lipoprotein lipase-dependent uptake of fatty acids in mesenteric lymph node macrophagesLaeticia Lichtenstein, Cell Metab. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 July 1.

                                                                                                    Plasma phospholipid saturated fatty acids and heart failure risk in the Physicians’ Health Study
                                                                                                    Chisa Matsumoto
                                                                                                    Clin Nutrition. 2013 October; 32(5): 819–823.

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    PROSTATE CANCER
                                                                                                    Blood Levels of Saturated and Monounsaturated Fatty Acids as Markers of De Novo Lipogenesis and Risk of Prostate Cancer
                                                                                                    Jorge E. Chavarro,
                                                                                                    Am J Epidemiol. 2013 October 15; 178(8): 1246–1255. Published online 2013 August 28.

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    BREAST CANCER
                                                                                                    Prospective Associations between Plasma Saturated, Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Overall and Breast Cancer Risk – Modulation by Antioxidants: A Nested Case-Control Study
                                                                                                    Camille Pouchieu,. Published online 2014 February 27.

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    OBESITY
                                                                                                    A High Intake of Saturated Fatty Acids Strengthens the Association between the Fat Mass and Obesity-Associated Gene and BMI
                                                                                                    Dolores Corella, J Nutr. 2011 December; 141(12): 2219–2225.

                                                                                                    Extensive impact of saturated fatty acids on metabolic and cardiovascular profile in rats with diet-induced obesity: a canonical analysis
                                                                                                    Silvio A
                                                                                                    Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2013; 12: 65. Published online 2013 April 15.

                                                                                                    Differential effects of saturated versus unsaturated dietary fatty acids on weight gain and myocellular lipid profiles in mice
                                                                                                    S Timmers
                                                                                                    Nutr Diabetes. 2011 July; 1(7): e11.

                                                                                                    Low density lipoprotein receptor related protein 1 variant interacts with saturated fatty acids in Puerto Ricans
                                                                                                    Caren E. Smith
                                                                                                    Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 March; 21(3): 602–608.

                                                                                                    Influence of dietary saturated fat content on adiposity, macrophage behavior, inflammation, and metabolism: composition matters
                                                                                                    Reilly T. Enos
                                                                                                    J Lipid Res. 2013 January; 54(1): 152–163

                                                                                                    Effects of Adiposity on Plasma Lipid Response to Reductions in Dietary Saturated Fatty Acids and Cholesterol
                                                                                                    Michael R. Flock
                                                                                                    Adv Nutr. 2011 May; 2(3): 261–274. Published online 2011 April 30. doi: 10.3945/an.111.000422

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    FATTY LIVER DISEASE, LIVER DAMAGE

                                                                                                    Molecular Mechanisms and the Role of Saturated Fatty Acids in the Progression of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
                                                                                                    Alexandra K.
                                                                                                    Prog Lipid Res. 2013 January; 52(1): 10.1016/j.plipres.2012.10.004.

                                                                                                    Saturated fatty acids activate ERK signaling to downregulate hepatic sortilin 1 in obese and diabetic mice
                                                                                                    Lipeng Bi,
                                                                                                    J Lipid Res. 2013 October; 54(10): 2754–2762.

                                                                                                    Role of SIRT1-FoxO1 Signaling in Dietary Saturated Fat-Dependent Upregulation of Liver Adiponectin Receptor 2 in Ethanol-Administered Mice
                                                                                                    Xiaomei Liang
                                                                                                    Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 July 15; 15(2): 425–435.

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    VIRUSES

                                                                                                    Saturated Very Long Chain Fatty Acids Are Required for the Production of Infectious Human Cytomegalovirus Progeny
                                                                                                    Emre Koyuncu
                                                                                                    PLoS Pathog. 2013 May; 9(5): e1003333. Published online 2013 May 16.

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    COGNITIVE DECLINE, MEMORY DECLINE

                                                                                                    Monounsaturated, trans & saturated fatty acids and cognitive decline in women
                                                                                                    Asghar Z. Naqvi
                                                                                                    J Am Geriatr Soc. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 May 1.
                                                                                                    Published in final edited form as: J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 May; 59(5): 837–843.

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    GENETICS

                                                                                                    Genetic predisposition influences plasma lipids of participants on habitual diet, but not the response to reductions in dietary intake of saturated fatty acids
                                                                                                    C.G. Walker, Atherosclerosis. 2011 April; 215(2): 421–427.

                                                                                                    Regulation of hepatic gene expression by saturated fatty acids
                                                                                                    T. Vallim, A.M. Salter
                                                                                                    Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2010 April; 82(4-6): 211–218.

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    OTHER

                                                                                                    The Complex and Important Cellular and Metabolic Functions of Saturated Fatty Acids
                                                                                                    Philippe Legrand, Vincent Rioux
                                                                                                    Lipids. 2010 October; 45(10): 941–946. Published online 2010 July 13.

                                                                                                    Saturated fatty acids enhance osteoclast survival
                                                                                                    So-Ra Oh
                                                                                                    J Lipid Res. 2010 May; 51(5): 892–899.

                                                                                                    Metabolic Flux Between Unsaturated and Saturated Fatty Acids is Controlled by the FabA:FabB Ratio in the Fully Reconstituted Fatty Acid Biosynthetic Pathway of E. coli
                                                                                                    Xirui Xiao, Xingye Yu, Chaitan Khosla
                                                                                                    Biochemistry.
                                                                                                    Published in final edited form as: Biochemistry. 2013 November 19; 52(46): 10.1021/bi401116n.

                                                                                                    Activity and Viability of Methanogens in Anaerobic Digestion of Unsaturated and Saturated Long-Chain Fatty Acids.
                                                                                                    Diana Z. , Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013 July; 79(14): 4239–4245.

                                                                                                    Solvent-free enzymatic synthesis of 1, 3-Diacylglycerols by direct esterification of glycerol with saturated fatty acids
                                                                                                    Nanjing Zhong
                                                                                                    Lipids Health Dis. 2013; 12: 65. Published online 2013 May 8.

                                                                                                    New insights into the health effects of dietary saturated and omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
                                                                                                    Michel de Lorgeril
                                                                                                    BMC Med. 2012; 10: 50. Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-50

                                                                                                    Sources of excessive saturated fat, trans fat and sugar consumption in Brazil: an analysis of the first Brazilian nationwide individual dietary survey
                                                                                                    Rosangela A Pereira
                                                                                                    Public Health Nutr. 2014 January; 17(1): 113–121.

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    CARBOHYDRATES AND SATURATED FAT

                                                                                                    Limited Effect of Dietary Saturated Fat on Plasma Saturated Fat in the Context of a Low Carbohydrate Diet
                                                                                                    Cassandra E. Forsythe, Lipids. 2010 October; 45(10): 947–962. Published online 2010 September 7.

                                                                                                    Dietary Carbohydrate Modifies the Inverse Association Between Saturated Fat Intake and Cholesterol on Very Low-Density Lipoproteins
                                                                                                    A.C. Wood,
                                                                                                    Lipid Insights. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 September 10.
                                                                                                    Lipid Insights. 2011 August 23; 2011(4): 7–15.

                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                    And finally,

                                                                                                    here are the articles showing the connection between saturated fat intake and

                                                                                                    CARDIOVASCULAR/HEART DISEASE

                                                                                                    Saturated fatty acids activate TLR-mediated proinflammatory signaling pathways
                                                                                                    Shurong Huang, J Lipid Res. 2012 September; 53(9): 2002–2013. doi: 10.1194/jlr.D029546

                                                                                                    Dietary intake of saturated fat by food source and incident cardiovascular disease: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
                                                                                                    Marcia C de Oliveira Otto,
                                                                                                    Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 August; 96(2): 397–404. Published online 2012 July 3.

                                                                                                    Saturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: Modulation by Replacement Nutrients
                                                                                                    Patty W. Siri-Tarino,
                                                                                                    Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2010 November; 12(6): 384–390. Published online 2010 August

                                                                                                    Total Fats, Saturated Fatty Acids, Processed Foods and Acute Coronary Syndrome in Transitional Albania
                                                                                                    Iris Mone, Anyla Bulo
                                                                                                    Mater Sociomed. 2012; 24(2): 91–93. doi: 10.5455/msm.2012.24.91-93

                                                                                                    N-3 vs. Saturated fatty acids: Effects on the arterial wall
                                                                                                    S. Sudheendran, C. C. Chang, R.J. Deckelbaum
                                                                                                    Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 April 1.
                                                                                                    Published in final edited form as: Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2010 Apr–Jun; 82(4-6): 205–209. Published online 2010 March 6.

                                                                                                    Effects of dietary saturated fat on LDL subclasses and apolipoprotein CIII in men
                                                                                                    Nastaran Faghihnia, Lara M. Mangravite, Sally Chiu, Nathalie Bergeron, Ronald M. Krauss
                                                                                                    Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 November; 66(11): 1229–1233.

                                                                                                    Dietary saturated fat and docosahexaenoic acid differentially effect cardiac mitochondrial phospholipid fatty acyl composition and Ca2+ uptake, without altering permeability transition or left ventricular function
                                                                                                    Kelly A O'Connell
                                                                                                    Physiol Rep. 2013 June; 1(1): e00009. Published online 2013 June 12.

                                                                                                    Dietary saturated fat/cholesterol, but not unsaturated fat or starch, induces C-reactive protein associated early atherosclerosis and ectopic fat deposition in diabetic pigs
                                                                                                    Sietse J Koopmans
                                                                                                    Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2011; 10: 64. Published online 2011 July 14.

                                                                                                    Dietary saturated fat and fibre and risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality among type 1 diabetic patients: the EURODIAB Prospective Complications Study
                                                                                                    D. A. J. M. Schoenaker
                                                                                                    Diabetologia. 2012 August; 55(8): 2132–2141. Published online 2012 April 12.

                                                                                                    Dietary Fiber and Saturated Fat Intake Associations with Cardiovascular Disease Differ by Sex in the Malmö Diet and Cancer Cohort: A Prospective Study
                                                                                                    Peter Wallström
                                                                                                    PLoS One. 2012; 7(2): e31637. Published online 2012 February 27.

                                                                                                    Is Almond Consumption More Effective Than Reduced Dietary Saturated Fat at Decreasing Plasma Total Cholesterol and LDL-c Levels? A Theoretical Approach
                                                                                                    Rudy M. Ortiz, Steven Garcia, Arnold D. Kim
                                                                                                    J Nutr Metab. 2012; 2012: 265712.

                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                      It is quite easy to find many, many studies in all scientific journals to claim many different correlations between many different biomarkers and functional readouts but most often they are rather useless as they vastly oversimplify a complex system - humans. Many studies, including either look just at a single (or a few) readouts and try to make connections often based on isolated tissues/cell cultures of interest and it is quite easy to find correlations is such a setting but they have little meaning in a much more complex systems as humans where there are many feedback loops and other mechanism not captured in such simplified systems. In addition, correlating from animal (any rodent or non-rodent) data has proven to be completely random (we can cure pretty much every cancer in a mouse xenograft model but are obviously very, very far away from the same situation in human) - inflammation or cardiovascular research is no different and based on the available animal models even further behind (something I see in my daily job).
                                                                                                      All these papers cited by you are just saying that there is potentially a correlation between a certain biomarker to a functional readout but based on industry and academic historic evidence a very, very small percentage of these correlation will turn out to be true and having any relevance in the daily life of humans. (In addition, many of these papers and their topics are very biased since they are often from academic groups based on grants they get which are unfortunately very much driven not by science to science politics. So you will see a lot of publications on certain topics for a few years because it is a "trendy" topic you easily get grants and than the science community will move on to the next field)

                                                                                                      1. re: honkman

                                                                                                        So what industry or political interest group is funding research into saturated fats? How about research into carbs and sugars?

                                                                                                        What about ideological commitments? The potential for bias is stronger when the researcher has a personal stake in the issue, than if they simply are getting a grant from an industry group.

                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                          I am not only talking about bias in terms of the outcome of the results but bias which biological targets will be researched by academic groups. Grants (which are the life blood of the different research groups inclduing very well establishd researchers) from industry and government are given primarily to research groups which work in the "right" research fields of the moment, therefore you will often see certain biological targets pop up first in the scientific literature from a number of groups and than in the mainstream media (since to get the next grants you need widespread coverage for your name) but there is not scientific reason that those targets have a higher chance of success to just because they pop up more in the literature.

                                                                                                          "The potential for bias is stronger when the researcher has a personal stake in the issue, than if they simply are getting a grant from an industry group" - grants are their personal stake, if they don't get grants they will have smaller groups or lose them completely

                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                            "So what industry or political interest group is funding research into saturated fats? How about research into carbs and sugars?"

                                                                                                            Allegedly "big food" funds a lot of research into saturated fat as its in their interests to promote the health benefits of low fat processed food i.e. the research proves its bad. I suppose the cattle and diary industry probably fund the opposite research.

                                                                                                            Luckily there are some maverick scientists to go against the orthodoxy and they can be on the outer edges until the orthodoxy changes i.e. why is there an obesity epidemic despite 30 years of advice to eat low saturated fat and protein diets and count calories. Which is what I think we are now seeing.

                                                                                                            1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                              I agree on studies Phil but even the findings of maverick scientists can't be taken as gospel. Not about food but case in point is the Kinsey Report. In this case it was personal bias that nullified the findings.

                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                To - agree - scientific theory always needs lots of testing. Unfortunately many seem to think of it in terms of absolutes - I blame the poor quality of science journalism. Most science journalists are trained journalists and few are qualifies scientists (in fact few probably excelled at science at high school).

                                                                                                                The UK has (Dr) Ben Goldacre who is a fantastic science writer and a great BBC radio show (podcasts available online) called "More or Less" which looks behind the stats quoted in the media - usually showing what BS they are or how flawed the research is.

                                                                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                  Yeah, usually somewhere down the center is where the truth lies.

                                                                                                                  I love beef & have 1 whole striploin dry aging (mine) & 1 wet aging (wife and kids). They prefer the wet aged.

                                                                                                                  We only have it twice a month & trim off the excess fat.

                                                                                                                  I also enjoy beer, wine & a good drink.

                                                                                                                  Screw the studies.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                    Sounds like moderation. And very tasty too!

                                                                                                          2. re: honkman

                                                                                                            The difference here is the HUGE NUMBER of current study articles all on the same subject -- saturated fat -- from all over the world, with a huge range of funding sources.

                                                                                                            The second difference is the specificity of the research -- the connection between saturated fat AND diabetes/insulin, or saturated fat AND inflammation, and so forth throughout the list of conditions. The AND in all caps functions as a Boolean connector as it does when doing the same search in the database.

                                                                                                            Third, the large studies or longitudinal studies or controlled studies are of special merit and legitimacy.

                                                                                                            Finally, to be a scientifically-verified and peer-reviewed article, the articles above must have survived two levels of scientific review, and both levels examine funding sources and grant sources thoroughly for any conflict of interest. Likewise, the scientists and authors of the study must survive the same two-stage review. Thanks anyway.

                                                                                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                              A huge number of studies on any field or topic doesn't prove anything in terms of the likelihood that the hypotheses are correct, especially if it is based on animals, tissue or cell data (and the majority of the studies you have cited are based on these kind of research). (And it is something you ignored you address in your reply). Same also with specificity of research - there are numberous cases where you will find many research articles on a particular field which in the end turned out to be not relavant for a disease, e.g p38 for certain types of inflammation etc etc.

                                                                                                              I don't know how many papers you have submitted to peer-reviews journals or if you have reviewed submitted papers (I do both) but your expectations of how this works, especially the "examination of funding thoroughly" couldn't be further from the truth (publishers might claim this but they don't have any capacity to investigate anything and their only way to "prove" it, is by believing that the authors are honest when they fill out the online submission form)
                                                                                                              I am just curious if you are working in any biology/chemistry/pharmacology related field ?

                                                                                                              1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                Sorry, I disagree, for the reasons already stated.

                                                                                                        2. Plants SAVE us...meat does not save us...here's the evidence for MANY diseases: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JNNL... plants provide healing substances to our bodies.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Val

                                                                                                            No offense but...

                                                                                                            That's not much in the way of evidence that 'plants save us' (though I doubt anyone here would dispute the myriad of benefits from eating plenty of fresh, highly nutrient-dense, non-starchy vegetables).

                                                                                                            And it's not evidence at all that 'meat does not save us'

                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                              Cowboy - I have been saved by plants on many an occasion- generally fermented grains, grapes and apples on many an occasion.

                                                                                                              Although I must admit that true redemption is only achieved if the good bottle of red has a large piece of prime grade meat as a companion.

                                                                                                            2. re: Val

                                                                                                              If cows are actually eating their natural grass diet, they are in effect pre-digesting nutrients in that grass for us that we in turn use when we eat beef.

                                                                                                            3. Another diet article - a possible link between genetics, processing of starches, and obesity:

                                                                                                              http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

                                                                                                              "M. Falchi et al. Low copy number of the salivary amylase gene predisposes to obesity. Nature Genetics, 2014 DOI: 10.1038/ng.2939"

                                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                If correct, this would explain a few things.

                                                                                                                Look at the skinny little woman, craving and gobbling the white foods, then look at the large woman, desperately cutting carbs to lose weight and not succeeding.

                                                                                                                One thing that bugs me about medical science is that when it gets applied in real life, everyone is treated as if we are all the same, yet here yet again is evidence that we are not.

                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                  I just gobbled 20 oz of m/r strip streak & 8 mixed grilled Vegs. Broke my heart to leave out the homemade garlic bread.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                    Yeah, I understand. Thank goodness I don't rabidly crave the carbs like I used to, but they're still pretty darn good. We haven't cut them out, but we've reduced them and improved the quality.

                                                                                                                    A meat and veggie dinner is yummy, though, isn't it?

                                                                                                                  2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                    I need to find a copy of the paper (or fuller summary) to find out if they have ideas about mechanism. Crudely more copies means greater production of the amylase enzyme in the saliva (and by the pancreas). Which should, I think, break starches down faster, and hence more efficient use of that food source.

                                                                                                                    On the other hand, some of the worse rates of obesity and diabetes occur in groups that traditionally were hunter gathers. The thinking has been that their metabolism some how 'hoarded' calories to better survive scarcity. I suspect their amylase gene copies are lower.

                                                                                                                    Maybe the amylase producing genes are doing more than simply promoting the production of this enzyme.

                                                                                                                    An interesting side note is that dogs also have more of the pancreatic amylase gene copies (compared to wolves), possibly a result of evolving along with humans.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                      More operative than saliva probably is gut signaling, a relatively new area of metabolic study. A huge number of peptides, bacteria and hormones in the gut signal the brain and other organs and directly affect metabolism and weight.

                                                                                                                      Transcription factor/FXR, PYY, CCK, GLP-1, grehlin, leptin, etc.

                                                                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                        That's not a new area of research (though time is relative...). PYY, grehlin, leptin, etc. research has been going on for at least a decade. I studied leptin 8 years ago, and was not a trend setter.

                                                                                                                        Agreed, though, gut signaling about appetite is very important.

                                                                                                                      2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                        Look up nutrigenomics. They are starting to look at how our genes affect us in this way. It's about time.

                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                          Good. Perhaps we can remove the condescending tone from our doctors' use of the word "anecdotal."

                                                                                                                          I read an article about how a person's daily habits can change the genetic makeup of their future children. Isn't this considered to be impossible?

                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                            Over time, I'd believe it. It's evolution. They do think what happens in utero affects our health, long after the original damage.

                                                                                                                            http://www.nufs.sjsu.edu/clariebh/dut...

                                                                                                                            This is, imo, one reason different people have success w/ different "diets".

                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                              Well, going back even further, different population groups evolved with different food sources in their climates/geographical areas and adapted to their use, too.

                                                                                                                            2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                              I think you are probably referring to epi-genetics which is how external influences (chemicals) affect how genes are expressed. It doesn't affect the underlying DNA simply how it is expressed.

                                                                                                                              The trouble with anecdotal evidence is that it is often mis-remembered, half-remembered, or represents a pre-disposition to believe, that is why its often viewed a bit cynically.

                                                                                                                              For example "I got food poisoning from that dirty food truck run by that idiot who is alway on TV" is an anecdote. The person is pre-disposed to associate the food poisoning with the food truck and subconsciously blames the idiot they don't like. The forget their colleague at work had been gone down with Norovirus the day before, but had been resisting going home because he had a project to finish.

                                                                                                                              1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                Those are excellent and valid examples. However, there is no excuse for dismissing ALL patient-relayed information out-of-hand, or for deciding that all patients are stupid and cannot observe and make a few reasonable deductions.

                                                                                                                                "I stepped on a nail and that's why there is a hole in my foot."

                                                                                                                                "I'm sorry, that's anecdotal."

                                                                                                                                :-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                  Totally agree - and I hope the foot gets better soon. However, next time you try an iron based homeopathic remedy I do recommend the ills though.

                                                                                                                                  It must be tricky for a doctor to sort through all the information they get so I can see why they are cynical about anecdotes. If you ever read comments on article that debate homeopathy there are many, many comments from people with self-limiting diseases who discuss their doctors incompetence and praise the homeopathic remedy they took for their sore throat two days after it started. The same with many other non-traditional treatments.

                                                                                                                                  The poor doctor needs to sort through all these anecdotes to spot the dangerous drug interaction, identify the odd symptom that indicates a severe problem, and screen out the worried well. Differential diagnosis is the key to trying to diagnose a problem i.e. going through a set structure of questions to isolate the issue. I would assume anecdote is a distraction to this process.

                                                                                                                                  Hence, structured trials run be researchers with clear controls. They are not encumbered like GP's who need to cure a patient, although the national reporting mechanisms that collect data about disease and drug interactions from GP's is an essential step in medical research.

                                                                                                                              2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                This might be epigenetics - your environment impacts your gene expression.

                                                                                                                                edit - whoops,I see I'm to the party late on that one. One comment, though, epigenetics is not necessarily chemicals that impact gene expression, but other types of environmental exposures.

                                                                                                                          2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                            Another source of variation - gut bacteria mix

                                                                                                                            http://www.wired.com/2014/04/hadza-hu...

                                                                                                                            The paleo gut microbial community was different. Modern hunter-gathers have a distinct bacterial mix due to what they eat. Even men and women have a different mix, probably due to differences in snacking diet while gathering and/or hunting.

                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                              Thank you, paulj, for that article. It was very interesting!

                                                                                                                          3. I'm a type 2 diabetic 6 weeks ago I started eating low carb so I could hopefully get off of my meds I have achieved that goal and Friday got the results of my blood tests in prep for a doctor visit My cholesterol dropped 9 points, my HDL is 81 and my Triglycerides are now in an acceptable place (Kaiser's standards) I don't eat a lot of red meat but we have it maybe twice a week We eat real butter, cream for our coffe and real mayo amongst other things What we don't eat is sugar in the many forms it comes in The little we do get is from veggies I haven't introduced fruits back into my plan with the exception of strawberries but will soon I'm certainly no expert on the subject of coronary risks but I'm doing what I think is best for me and it seems to be working

                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: SoozyQ

                                                                                                                                  The consensus seems to be that lowering carb intake has a very positive effect on many key numbers and it doesn't take long for the lab work to reflect the changes. Good Job.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                    It took only 2 weeks for my triglycerides to drop about 200 pts and my HDL to double to 78. My LDL particle size turned to all harmless, large, bouyant ones.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                      I just wish fresh hot crusty bread didn't taste so damn good.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                        I got over it. Nothing tastes as good as keeping my limbs working and attached. :-)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                          I hear you on that. To date I am ok but my dad had major problems. He got used to the extremity numbness but the hemorrhaging in his eyes was a chronic problem & diabetic coronary disease required major bypass surgery. Nothing to fool with.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                            I used to have severe neuropathies in my feet and hands til I started low carbing. The pain went away overnight, but it took a few months and some alpha lipoic acid to get rid of residual numbness in my feet in the a.m. Kidney damage reversed, too. Definitely not to be taken lightly. 15 years and everything is still good, all diet control, no meds.