Curbing saturated fat alone may not reduce risk to heart
The good versus bad fat debate just went a step further as a study has found that restricting consumption of saturated fats alone does not reduce heart disease risk.
The study, led by the University of Cambridge, also found insufficient support for guidelines which advocate the high consumption of polyunsaturated fats, such as omega 3 and omega 6, to reduce the risk of coronary disease.
The researchers analysed existing studies and randomised trials on coronary risk and fatty acid intake.
"These are interesting results that potentially stimulate new lines of scientific inquiry and encourage careful reappraisal of our current nutritional guidelines," said Rajiv Chowdhury, lead author of the study.
For the research, the scientists analysed data from 72 unique studies with over six lakh participants from 18 nations.
The investigators found that total saturated fatty acid, whether measured in the diet or in the bloodstream as a biomarker, was not associated with coronary disease risk in the observational studies.
Additionally, when the authors investigated the effects of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplementations on reducing coronary disease in the randomised controlled trials, they did not find any significant effects -- indicating a lack of benefit from these nutrients.
Cardiovascular disease, in which the principal manifestation is coronary heart disease, remains the single leading cause of death and disability worldwide.
The findings of the study appeared in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
(Posted on 18-03-2014)