Option – Saturated Fat is not the Major Issue

Halhotra, Aseem, Saturated Fat is not the Major Issue. British Medical Journal, October 22, 2013. 

How many of us over the years have been drilled with the mantra that saturated fat is very unhealthy and causes a myriad of health issues including heart disease, stroke, obesity? Over the years I have read several books quoting research that has consistently denied these assertions, but I could not help bringing your attention to the above article published in one of the most prestigious mainline medical journals in the world. In this well referenced article, the author comes to many startling conclusions: “Indeed, recent prospective cohort studies have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular risk. Instead, saturated fat has been found to be protective.” He references a study published in another  British Journal, Lancet, in 1956. This study compared groups consuming diets of  90% fat, 90% protein, and 90% carbohydrate. The greatest weight loss was in the  fat consuming group. The protein consuming group also lost weight, but not nearly to the extent as the fat consuming group. The carbohydrate group gained weight.

According to the author, the evidence shows that it is sugar, not saturated fat (nor elevated cholesterol) which leads to heart disease. In fact he asserts that  75% of patients admitted to the hospital with the diagnosis of acute myocardial  infarction have completely normal cholesterol. What they do have is metabolic syndrome (the cluster of hypertension, abnormal blood sugar, raised triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and increased waist circumference) Metabolic syndrome is associated  with people who just eat too much sugar and refined carbohydrate.

Not only does this article connect sugar with heart disease and disassociated elevated cholesterol as much of a risk factor, but it goes even farther by criticizing cholesterol lowering statin drugs as being not at all effective for preventing heart disease. In fact, a large study of people taking stains showed that fully 20% of participants had such severe side effects from the drug (muscle pain, gastrointestinal upset,  sleep and memory disturbance, and erectile dysfunction) that they discontinued  the drug.

A careful analysis of drug industry sponsored data reported that in a low risk group of people aged 60-70 taking statins, the number needed to treat to prevent one cardiovascular event in one year was 345. This means that of 345 people taking the drug only one would benefit and the remainder would see no benefit at all. Even in people who have already had a heart attack (where statins have the strongest supporting evidence) the number needed to treat is 83 for 5 years. This doesn’t mean that each patient benefits a little but rather that 82 will receive no benefit at all. These numbers are stark and reveal the statin-heart disease scam for what it is. (my comment)

This article shows just how much disagreement there can be among medical professionals and scientific journals. Yet when the data stands alone without any political spin, the saturated fat-high cholesterol-statin drug theory tends to collapse under its own weight. Research quoted in this article and others indicates that adopting a  Mediterranean diet after a heart attack is almost three times as powerful in reducing mortality as taking a statin.

In spite of the powerful information quoted above, I have saved the best for last.

In the last paragraph of the article, the author makes a statement which underlies my entire view of our current health system: “Pharmacotherapy can assuage the symptoms but can’t alter the pathophysiology.” In other words, drugs may make the symptoms feel better, but cannot, and do not ever address the underlying biological breakdown(s) that actually caused the symptoms in the first place. The cause can only be addressed with diet, exercise, detoxification, chiropractic adjustments, positive connections with other people, specific nutritional formulas based on individual need, right  thinking, and other modalities which allow the body to heal naturally.


In our office we are all about finding the cause of your symptoms and/or illness. This is done through careful consultation, examination, and laboratory findings.  If you are interested in a consultation, please give Kris a call today at (402) 488-2220 and she can schedule you for a fifteen minute consult.


Sincerely,  Paul Firnhaber, Lincoln Disc and Nutrition Center

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