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Having been away on holiday for a week, I woke up this morning feeling relaxed and happy with the world. Switching on to Radio Five Live, as I made my morning coffee, I heard Dr Shyam Kolvekar suggesting to the British public that we should all give up butter to reduce the risk of death from cardio vascular disease and immediately my stress levels rose again!
The delightful Shyam Kolvekar quoted a Finnish Nurses Study as the irrefutable evidence of the link between saturated fats and death from heart disease. Since this so called pinnacle study there have been many more clinical trials that have fundamentally questioned the link between saturated fats and heart disease. For example just recently the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism published a report on Fats and Fatty Acids in Human Nutrition which was part of an Expert Consultation held by the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organisation.
There was two types of studies reviewed – epidemiological (statistical association studies) and intervention studies. Looking at the epidemiological studies first it was concluded that “Intake of saturated fatty acids was not significantly associated Cardiovascular Heart Disease mortality (deaths) “ and “ Saturated Fatty Acids was not significantly associated with Cardio Vascular Disease events “ (such as heart attacks etc )
The intervention studies – which is where they actually compare people on low fat with those not on low fat diets the conclusion was “ fatal cardiovascular disease is not reduced by low fat diets”
But this week there was another significant study published which looked at 21 epidemiological studies and the conclusion was
No association between saturated fat and risk of heart disease and no association between saturated fats and risk of stroke.
So you have to wonder why our friend the heart surgeon is referring to a very old study which has been superseded by many more accurate and significant studies. When you look at his expertise there is no indication that he has a special interest in diet or fat metabolism.

18 January 2010

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