March 24, 2010
Polyunsatured Fats Reduce Heart Risk

A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials finds that replacing saturated with polyunsaturated fats cuts heart disease risk.

Boston, MA – Although for nearly 60 years people have been urged to decrease their consumption of saturated fats to prevent heart disease, until now there has been surprisingly little scientific evidence that doing so actually decreased the risk of coronary heart disease events. A new study by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) provides the first conclusive evidence from randomized clinical trials that people who replace saturated fat in their diet with polyunsaturated fat reduce their risk of coronary heart disease by 19%, compared with control groups of people who do not.

By systematically reviewing a large group of randomized clinical trials and conducting a pooled meta-analysis of these studies, the HSPH team's findings show that increasing the intake of polyunsaturated fats as a replacement for saturated fats could significantly reduce the rate of heart attacks and cardiac deaths in the population. The study appears in the March 23, 2010 issue of the open-access journal PLoS Medicine.

Omega 3 fatty acids also cut heart risks.

The meta-analysis of the trials showed that increasing polyunsaturated fat consumption as a replacement for saturated fat reduced the risk of coronary heart disease events by 19%. For every 5% increase (measured as total energy) in polyunsaturated fat consumption, coronary heart disease risk was reduced by 10%. This is now just the second dietary intervention--consuming long-chain omega-3 fatty acids is the first—to show a reduction in coronary heart disease events in randomized controlled trials.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 March 24 10:56 PM  Aging Diet Heart Studies

Brett Bellmore said at March 25, 2010 4:24 AM:

I wonder if it would be possible to design an ideal fat-like molecule, which would be even better? Somebody is probably working on it. Maybe a deuterated Omega 3, to take advantage of the mass effect.

Jake said at March 25, 2010 7:59 AM:

This study flies in the face of well accepted biochemistry on the dangers of of polyunsaturated omega 6 oils. They also ignore the best and most complete study done on polyunsaturated omega 6 oils and heart disease-the Lyon, France study. That study showed that reducing the omega 6 consumption reduced your heart attack risk by 76%.

No one should trust any nutrition studies coming out of Harvard. Processed food companies have poured massive amounts of money into that school and it has turned the faculty into shameless grant whores willing to do anything to keep the money flowing.

random said at March 25, 2010 11:09 AM:

"By systematically reviewing a large group of randomized clinical trials and conducting a pooled meta-analysis of these studies..."

When I run this through my bullshit translator it comes out as this:

"By Cherry Picking the studies ... "

Augustus said at March 26, 2010 3:50 PM:

Thanks for posting that link. It certainly does bring up some good equestions about the evaluations used for what was considered.

th said at March 29, 2010 3:40 PM:

"There has been some debate within the nutrition community regarding the benefits of omega-6 based on the belief that they may promote inflammation, thus increasing cardiovascular risk. “That idea is based more on assumptions and extrapolations than on hard data,” said Harris, a research professor for the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota and director of the Metabolism and Nutrition Research Center at Sanford Research/USD."

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