Wednesday, April 13, 2016

New whack at old data might exonerate saturated fats

Come to Mommy, you linoleic-free
little beauty.
Researchers at the Univ of North Carolina School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health are throwing shade on the "conventional wisdom" that it's good to replace butter with vegetable oils high in linoleic acid.

The findings in today's British Medical Journal says evidence from a large controlled study in Minnesota 50 yrs ago (and never published), as well as similar studies done more recently, says these oils may be worse than butter for preventing heart disease.

The analysis shows that these veggie oils failed to reduce heart disease and overall mortality even though they reduced
                                                         cholesterol.

This linoleic acid seems to be suspect--it is also found in corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and cottonseed oil.

The UNC people got the earlier data and reanalyzed it. They also looked at autopsy studies--the corn oil group in the study had twice the number of heart attacks as the control group.

Of course, they did not have individual data so they could not tease out reasons this might be true (besides eating corn oil).

In 2013, though, they looked at unpublished data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and found more heart disease and death among patients who are safflower oil compared with controls.

I eat butter--but it's mixed with canola oil to make it softer and easier to use. I wonder about that now.

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