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The definitive guide to saturated fat (or how to stop worrying and love butter)

  • 26-04-2011 2:49pm
    #1
    Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    Hi Everybody,

    I'm suppose to be reading up on Sex-Hormone Binding Globulin today (exciting! :() but I'm going to take a nice break to write the definitive guide saturated fat.

    It keeps coming up over and over again on the forum so I thought I'd put this thread here so we can refer back to it to stop re-inventing the wheel.

    Structure:

    These group of fats are referred to as 'saturated' as every carbon molecule in the 'chain' of fatty acids has an attached hydrogen molecule. This makes for the most 'stable' chemical structure as in the least likely to react with any other chemicals.

    Stability:

    This non-reactivity is a good thing as most of the threats that our body uses its resources fighting is created by oxidisation, as in oxygen reacting to another substance. This is why anti-oxidants have such a good reputation. Though it must be said some oxidation is appropriate and contributes to a healthy metabolism, as it promotes an adaptive response such as after exercise. But generally speaking we want to keep oxidisation intermittent and brief.

    Cholesterol:

    But, doesn't saturated fat raise LDL or cholesterol, the 'bad' cholesterol? Well that's not actually established, most of the trials are short-term (<12 weeks), low-quality and the results are all over the place, some show slight reductions from reducing saturated fat but they are usually poorly controlled, as in they don't take into account what they are replacing the saturated fat with and how that effected cholesterol level. In the longer term trials the association pretty much disappears when other factors are controlled for (like smoking and obesity.).

    Saturated fat does consistently and reliably raise HDL cholesterol however, and unless you're crazily out of range, indicative of a serious infection, the higher the better.

    Risk of Heart Disease

    But even if saturated fat doesn't adversely affect cholesterol, it's still really associated with getting a heart attack though right? I mean arterycloggingsaturatedfat is almost one word it's been drilled into us so often.

    Well, again the science just doesn't back this up. If you look at observational studies you'll find some studies showing that people who go heavy on the butter and bacon tend to die of more heart attacks. But the problem with these kinds of studies is that you cannot infer a causal relationship from an retrospective observational study because the 'experiment' has been tainted.

    An example: Lets pretend 20 years ago we decide that people that wear more yellow clothes have less heart disease. All the health-conscious people listen to their doctors and start wearing yellow shirts, along with doing thousands of other things that health-conscious people tend to do either unconsciously or consciously (exercise, no smoking, less fast food) that can't be fully accounted for by mathematically controlling the statistics. Lo and behold a few decades later it's as clear as day that people who wear yellow clothes have less heart attacks!

    If you think the above example is completely silly then think how silly it is that even the observational evidence from the last few decades is not consistent the theory. The totality of the studies of this nature don't even support an association with an increase in heart disease even though we've been told to lay off the cream and butter for decades now.

    The best version of an observational study is a prospective cohort study, this is where rather than asking people to remember what they were eating ten years ago, you ask them what they eat now and at regular intervals and follow their progress for a number of years. Although still far from perfect, these kind of studies minimise 'recall' bias or the bias we all have in remembering what we eat.

    There have been 25 prospective studies done examining the relationship between heart-disease and saturated fat and only four of them managed to find any relationship whatsoever. If there was a real danger from eating saturated fat, we would see a far more consistent relationship, especially considering how healthy people in general tend to avoid it based on public health recommendations.

    This recent meta-analysis by Krauss et al. is the most comprehensive review of it's nature:

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract
    Background: A reduction in dietary saturated fat has generally been thought to improve cardiovascular health.

    Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis was to summarize the evidence related to the association of dietary saturated fat with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologic studies.

    Design: Twenty-one studies identified by searching MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and secondary referencing qualified for inclusion in this study. A random-effects model was used to derive composite relative risk estimates for CHD, stroke, and CVD.

    Results: During 5–23 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, 11,006 developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD. The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantiles of saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results.

    Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.

    So according to the balance of evidence saturated fat is at worst benign, but could it actually be beneficial? Well yes, there are trials showing that it:

    -Increases HDL
    -Increases testosterone in men
    -Reduces Lp(a) (this stuff correlates with heart disease and stroke like no other biomarker out there, it's the most potent risk factor by a mile.)
    -Aids the clearance of excess fat from the liver (this is why a lot of people find their cholesterol jumps up on a weight loss diet, that's your body ridding itself of visceral liver fat and it is only temporary)
    -Sat fat will also protect your liver from the damage inflicted by alcohol and certain medications.

    The tide is turning, albeit at the speed of a fatigued snail. I don't believe most doctors today have taken their own honest appraisal of the literature. If they have and still believe that the same substance that your body will use to store energy is somehow out to get us, then they've seen evidence I don't have access to.

    Oh and by the by, I got a cholesterol test done recently for the laugh (I'm a 28 year old woman so barring something genetic my risk of a heart attack is next to zero anyway):

    Total: 4.0 (Healthy range 3.0 - 4.0)
    LDL: 1.4 (Healthy < 3.0)
    HDL: 1.8 (Health > 1.0) My doctor was shocked with how high my HDL was and asked me what my secret was, she almost fell off her chair when I said 'butter'.
    Triglycerides: 0.6 (Healthy < 1.0)

    I'm not even saying that all of the above is even relevant to my heart disease risk but it goes to show even by conventional measurements a high saturated fat diet has proved beneficial for me.

    If I've left anything out please do let me know, I wouldn't want to be accused of cherry-picking anything. There are soooo many crap studies in this area that if I were to name them all I'd be writing a small thesis, and I've already got one of those going on at the moment.:) But chances are I have come across any study you care to mention in this arena, so don't hold back, come at me bro! I'd love this thread to become a large repository for addressing any concerns in this area.


«13

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,991 metamorphosis


    You're back :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,394 ✭✭✭ Transform


    Boom!

    Hope all the weight watchers crowd read that.

    The weston a price guys/gals have been banging on about all of the above for donkeys years


  • Registered Users Posts: 507 ✭✭✭ Squeaksoutloud


    It all makes for interesting reading but what you are saying is really against the conventional wisdom out there! I have recently introduced myself to the world of low fat diets of Esselstyn and Ornish following a recent heart scare. I have also recently discovered this whole world of alternative thinking in relation to saturated fat which some people in here subscribe to. There seems to be a whole debate going on between the low carb Paleo/Atkins eaters and the low fat whole food plant based diets espoused by Dr. Esselstyn, Ornish and Colin Campbell. All very confusing I tell you but I am currently on the whole food plant based diet due to the research I have read in this area.

    I would love to know what the experts here make of Esselstyns work in reversing heart disease with a diet extremely low in saturated fat. How does one explain that if its not the saturated fat causing the heart disease! His diet is carbohydrate strong and allows sugars in the diet also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,462 Orla K


    I would love to know what the experts here make of Esselstyns work in reversing heart disease with a diet extremely low in saturated fat. How does one explain that if its not the saturated fat causing the heart disease! His diet is carbohydrate strong and allows sugars in the diet also.


    I'm far from an expert but even just from reading El_dangerosos post I got this
    Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.

    I'm sure someone has a better/more detailed answer


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    It all makes for interesting reading but what you are saying is really against the conventional wisdom out there! I have recently introduced myself to the world of low fat diets of Esselstyn and Ornish following a recent heart scare. I have also recently discovered this whole world of alternative thinking in relation to saturated fat which some people in here subscribe to. There seems to be a whole debate going on between the low carb Paleo/Atkins eaters and the low fat whole food plant based diets espoused by Dr. Esselstyn, Ornish and Colin Campbell. All very confusing I tell you but I am currently on the whole food plant based diet due to the research I have read in this area.

    I would love to know what the experts here make of Esselstyns work in reversing heart disease with a diet extremely low in saturated fat. How does one explain that if its not the saturated fat causing the heart disease! His diet is carbohydrate strong and allows sugars in the diet also.

    Hi Squeeksoutloud, love the username! There has been on trial one Ornish's approach and it did indeed reduce cardiac events. It's hard to pick apart what actually worked though because the intervention group were also given stress reduction and smoking cessation programs as well as reducing overall processed food. These things we know are good for the heart.

    What does the primal crowd and Ornish & co. have in common, and what I suspect is the most potent heart-protective step you can take, especially if you have diagnosed heart-disease is to eliminate as much as possible any trace of omega 6 fatty acids out of your diet. By virtue of being <10% calories in fat, the plant-based approach is automatically very low in n6, usually 3%.

    If you're gonna go really low on omega 6 and keep a decent amount fat in the diet you need to be stricter with the type of oils you choose, beef, lamb and dairy fat are naturally very low in omega 6. No plant oils of any sort bar small amounts of EVOO. Moderate bacon, chicken and avocado (no more than twice a week). This is stricter as someone with diagnosed heart disease doesn't have much wiggle room for oxidisation that a healthier person would have.

    There is some disadvantages in the Ornish approach and that is it tends to be high in wholegrains which are high in a substance called phytic acid, which binds important minerals. One of the most important minerals for heart health is magnesium and phytic acid depletes magnesium. So if you are continuing on the plant-based path, consider magnesium supplementation, it's one of the few we probably all need a little extra of.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,394 ✭✭✭ Transform


    It all makes for interesting reading but what you are saying is really against the conventional wisdom out there! I have recently introduced myself to the world of low fat diets of Esselstyn and Ornish following a recent heart scare. I have also recently discovered this whole world of alternative thinking in relation to saturated fat which some people in here subscribe to. There seems to be a whole debate going on between the low carb Paleo/Atkins eaters and the low fat whole food plant based diets espoused by Dr. Esselstyn, Ornish and Colin Campbell. All very confusing I tell you but I am currently on the whole food plant based diet due to the research I have read in this area.

    I would love to know what the experts here make of Esselstyns work in reversing heart disease with a diet extremely low in saturated fat. How does one explain that if its not the saturated fat causing the heart disease! His diet is carbohydrate strong and allows sugars in the diet also.
    ornish nutrition = shake of head for me


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,141 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor


    It all makes for interesting reading but what you are saying is really against the conventional wisdom out there!

    Conventional wwisdom, or marketing?
    Seriously, think of the last 5 or 10 times you heard source say, or imply (by saying low in sat fat, or similar). What was the source?
    An scientific paper or an ad for a butter substitute


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,461 ✭✭✭ --Kaiser--


    Mellor wrote: »
    Conventional wwisdom, or marketing?
    Seriously, think of the last 5 or 10 times you heard source say, or imply (by saying low in sat fat, or similar). What was the source?
    An scientific paper or an ad for a butter substitute

    +1
    I get a good bit of criticism from work colleagues on my high saturated fat diet. I've simply given up on arguing, my last comment was "I'm not debating nutrition with someone who gets their information from the back of a box of Shredded Wheat"


  • Registered Users Posts: 507 ✭✭✭ Squeaksoutloud


    Mellor wrote: »
    Conventional wwisdom, or marketing?
    Seriously, think of the last 5 or 10 times you heard source say, or imply (by saying low in sat fat, or similar). What was the source?
    An scientific paper or an ad for a butter substitute

    Well no actually my cardiologist and a surgeon in America called Esselstyn who has actually reversed heart disease in seriously ill people by putting them on a diet low in saturated fat.

    I'm not saying its the only option but I have yet to see a study that has reversed heart disease with a diet high in saturated fat and low in carbohydrates.

    I do find the whole theory that saturated fat is not responsible for heart disease interesting and am reading up about it as much as I can as I am certainly no expert...this is all new to me! I have read Gary Taubes articles and have even found some of the blogs on the internet by Mark Sisson and others.

    I note that Ornish/Esselstyn etc. are of the opinion that (taken from internet!):
    The high-fat high-protein low-carbohydrate diets cannot produce the circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) that are needed to repair damaged blood vessel walls & improve endothelial function.
    And the HPLC diet doubles the nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) which promote inflammation & atherosclerosis

    This was looked at in the study 'Vascular effects of a low-carbohydrate high-protein diet':

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741266/?tool=pubmed

    I know its only mice so take from it what you want I guess.

    Also to quote from the following:

    http://www.meandmydiabetes.com/2010/03/24/loren-cordain-caution-on-saturated-fats-disaster-with-grains-will-be-public-after-march-25th/

    'CSU scientist and author of The Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain responds to U-C Davis Scientist and co-author of the New Atkins, Steve Phinney’s discussion on Pemmican. This interview includes Loren’s opinion that saturated fats DO increase plaque in the arteries. However, Loren says, this only becomes very hazardous when saturated fats are eaten in combination with grains, beans, dairy, high-sugar foods or other foods that tend to increase inflammation. Cordain says the combination of saturated fats and inflammatory foods such as grains is a deadly formula for a heart attack'

    'I’m not saying that pemmican isn’t a healthy food. It’s probably an expedient way to provide calories over a North American winter. It’s a very great way to store these things. An all pemmican diet, I don’t think is a healthy diet for a number of reasons. If you only eat pemmican, I think you’ll become osteoporotic. You won’t get any vitamin A. If you eat only pemmican, you will promote atherosclerosis. So I just bring to you one paper that I’d like you to distribute. That paper is published in an obscure journal, the Texas Heart Institute Journal in 1993. So nobody’s read it, because you can’t get it on Medline. What this guy did, he was a physician, an MD PhD by the name of Zimmerman. Zimmerman was a pathologist, and he was lucky enough to be in Alaska when a 400 AD, so we’re talking 1600 year old, frozen Inuit mummy was recovered. He did an autopsy on this, and he sectioned the coronary arteries. So this is 400 AD. These people had never seen white people. They had only eaten what Steve Phinney had suggested people eat–fat and protein–and significant atherosclerosis in a 53 year old Inuit woman, on pathology. That wasn’t just the only case. He then was privy to another group of frozen Eskimo bodies that were recovered in Barrow, Alaska, and these people date to about 1520 AD, so just slightly after the time Columbus had discovered America. Once again, no influence of Western civilization. So presumably, they were living at Barrow, 60 degrees north, they were eating meat and fat their entire life. They might get a little bit of berries sometime in the summer. Extensive atherosclerosis was in the older woman, who was 30. All three of them were osteoporotic. They were severely osteoporotic on that type of diet. So you can give this to people who claim that all we need to eat is meat and fat.'


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    Well no actually my cardiologist and a surgeon in America called Esselstyn who has actually reversed heart disease in seriously ill people by putting them on a diet low in saturated fat.

    I'm not saying its the only option but I have yet to see a study that has reversed heart disease with a diet high in saturated fat and low in carbohydrates.

    I do find the whole theory that saturated fat is not responsible for heart disease interesting and am reading up about it as much as I can as I am certainly no expert...this is all new to me! I have read Gary Taubes articles and have even found some of the blogs on the internet by Mark Sisson and others.

    I note that Ornish/Esselstyn etc. are of the opinion that (taken from internet!):
    The high-fat high-protein low-carbohydrate diets cannot produce the circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) that are needed to repair damaged blood vessel walls & improve endothelial function.
    And the HPLC diet doubles the nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) which promote inflammation & atherosclerosis

    This was looked at in the study 'Vascular effects of a low-carbohydrate high-protein diet':

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741266/?tool=pubmed

    I know its only mice so take from it what you want I guess.

    I completely understand your concern, it's all nice to get theoretical but when it's your life on the line then it's a whole other thing and you WANT to be sure.

    Esselstyn has not reversed heart disease by putting people on a low saturated fat diet, if he has reversed it (I remember subsequent trials were not as successful as the first) then it was down to the low omega 6, low processed junk, low stress and giving up smoking. How do I know? Because when you just change saturated fat content and nothing else, you get either no change in heart disease risk or your heart disease risk goes up! That's what good science does, isolates the variable of interest while controlling for everything else. Not throwing a bunch of changes at someone and then deciding which one made the difference.

    Re: Endothelial progenitor cells, there's no evidence in humans that happens, in fact, bone marrow (incredibly high in sat fat) is an excellent promoter of EPC's. Collagen is fantastic too. Ornish and co. are incredibly fond of mice studies, they don't really like human ones because they rarely tell them what they want to hear.

    Now to the mice study, that diet was 45% protein, which is a ridiculous amount, even a whey-chugging elite body builder would have trouble getting close to that amount, that's the equivalent of 30 eggs worth of protein for a 2,000 calorie diet. Believe it or not, low carb diets (and I'm saying that all saturated fat is harmless regardless of whether the diet is low or high carb) are moderate, not high protein. The low fat promoters like to call them high protein as it sets up a nice straw man argument and mice are not adapted to great amounts of protein like humans are.

    Secondly apoE-/- knockout mice (the kind used in the study) are touted as the best model of heart-disease in mice as they are engineered to do badly on a high-fat diet. Sounds like a bit of a tautology doesn't it? I'll bet you still have your ApoE gene intact, otherwise you'd probably know about it.

    On the NEFA front, blaming fat for pathologically high NEFA is the same as blaming eating potatoes for hyperinsulemia. Both are blaming a normal physiological response for a pathological state.
    Also to quote from the following:

    http://www.meandmydiabetes.com/2010/03/24/loren-cordain-caution-on-saturated-fats-disaster-with-grains-will-be-public-after-march-25th/

    'CSU scientist and author of The Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain responds to U-C Davis Scientist and co-author of the New Atkins, Steve Phinney’s discussion on Pemmican. This interview includes Loren’s opinion that saturated fats DO increase plaque in the arteries. However, Loren says, this only becomes very hazardous when saturated fats are eaten in combination with grains, beans, dairy, high-sugar foods or other foods that tend to increase inflammation. Cordain says the combination of saturated fats and inflammatory foods such as grains is a deadly formula for a heart attack'

    'I’m not saying that pemmican isn’t a healthy food. It’s probably an expedient way to provide calories over a North American winter. It’s a very great way to store these things. An all pemmican diet, I don’t think is a healthy diet for a number of reasons. If you only eat pemmican, I think you’ll become osteoporotic. You won’t get any vitamin A. If you eat only pemmican, you will promote atherosclerosis. So I just bring to you one paper that I’d like you to distribute. That paper is published in an obscure journal, the Texas Heart Institute Journal in 1993. So nobody’s read it, because you can’t get it on Medline. What this guy did, he was a physician, an MD PhD by the name of Zimmerman. Zimmerman was a pathologist, and he was lucky enough to be in Alaska when a 400 AD, so we’re talking 1600 year old, frozen Inuit mummy was recovered. He did an autopsy on this, and he sectioned the coronary arteries. So this is 400 AD. These people had never seen white people. They had only eaten what Steve Phinney had suggested people eat–fat and protein–and significant atherosclerosis in a 53 year old Inuit woman, on pathology. That wasn’t just the only case. He then was privy to another group of frozen Eskimo bodies that were recovered in Barrow, Alaska, and these people date to about 1520 AD, so just slightly after the time Columbus had discovered America. Once again, no influence of Western civilization. So presumably, they were living at Barrow, 60 degrees north, they were eating meat and fat their entire life. They might get a little bit of berries sometime in the summer. Extensive atherosclerosis was in the older woman, who was 30. All three of them were osteoporotic. They were severely osteoporotic on that type of diet. So you can give this to people who claim that all we need to eat is meat and fat.'

    Who eats only pemmican and nothing else? Who says all you need to do is eat meat and fat? Strawman says what..

    Once again we have massive extrapolation, medical staff who have examined the traditional Inuit have seen vastly lower levels of heart attacks (atherosclerosis is not a heart attack) than in western populations. They do have higher rates of osteoporosis but they also suffer from various deficiencies along with living in an extreme environment. They are not a great example of anything. I suspect too much omega 3 PUFA is a negative factor in their diet too.

    All you need to do is look at the pacific island populations eating 50% of their calories as saturated fat or look at Europe and see the French or the Swiss who consume lots of dairy fat and have low levels of heart disease to know that saturated fat has been incorrectly blamed.

    If saturated fat was an issue, there would be evidence for it being bad independent of any other factor. That evidence doesn't exist.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 147 ✭✭ Ice.


    Transform wrote: »
    ornish nutrition = shake of head for me

    This coming from a supporter of the WAPF. :D:D:D
    Esselstyn has not reversed heart disease by putting people on a low saturated fat diet

    Dr. Esselstyn tells his patients to not eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, avocado, or oil. His clinical research shows that if you take the overt fats out of the diet (and limit highly refined carbs) the disease stops and/or reverses. High amounts of animal products make the disease worse.


    Ornish and co. are incredibly fond of mice studies, they don't really like human ones because they rarely tell them what they want to hear.

    Their clinical evidence speaks for itself. There is no documented treatment that is more successful at reversing Heart Disease than a low-fat plant based diet (70%+ reversal rate in Dr. Esselstyn's patients, 80%+ in Dr. Ornish's).

    atherosclerosis is not a heart attack

    You can't have a heart attack without all the gunk in your arteries and the main atherosclerotic risk factor is hypercholesterolemia.

    All you need to do is look at the pacific island populations eating 50% of their calories as saturated fat or look at Europe and see the French or the Swiss who consume lots of dairy fat and have low levels of heart disease to know that saturated fat has been incorrectly blamed.

    The diet of the Maasai of Kenya consists of very high quantities of animal products. All that saturated fat in their diet gives the men as much atherosclerotic plaque lining their arteries as seniors on the Standard American Diet but they don't get heart attacks because a) high levels of physical activity are thought to widen their blood vessels and b) they don't live long enough to die of heart attack, their life expectancy is below 50 yrs.

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/1/26.abstract
    If saturated fat was an issue, there would be evidence for it being bad independent of any other factor. That evidence doesn't exist.

    Thats because it's a combination of things. Not one thing on it's own.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,461 ✭✭✭ --Kaiser--



    Who eats only pemmican and nothing else? Who says all you need to do is eat meat and fat? Strawman says what..

    LOL


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    Ice. wrote: »
    This coming from a supporter of the WAPF. :D:D:D

    Dr. Esselstyn tells his patients to not eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, avocado, or oil. His clinical research shows that if you take the overt fats out of the diet (and limit highly refined carbs) the disease stops and/or reverses. High amounts of animal products make the disease worse.

    Their clinical evidence speaks for itself. There is no documented treatment that is more successful at reversing Heart Disease than a low-fat plant based diet (70%+ reversal rate in Dr. Esselstyn's patients, 80%+ in Dr. Ornish's).
    Yay, Ice, wondering how long you'd take to show up. :D

    70% reversal of heart disease? Put your (Peer-reviewed paper) money where your mouth is.

    Are you familiar with the hierarchy of evidence of medical science?

    From the HSE.ie website:
    Hierarchy of Evidence

    Category I: Evidence from at least one properly randomized controlled trial.
    Category II-1: Evidence from well-designed controlled trials without randomization.
    Category II-2: Evidence from well-designed cohort or case-control analytic studies, preferably from more than one center or research group.
    Category II-3: Evidence from multiple times series with or without intervention or dramatic results in uncontrolled experiments such as the results of the introduction of penicillin treatment in the 1940s.
    Category III: Opinions of respected authorities, based on clinical experience, descriptive studies and case reports, or reports of expert committees

    So the evidence you've provided is on the lowest level of the hierarchy. Ornish and Esseltyn's diets promote smoking cessation, exercise, stress reduction, omega 6 reduction and less refined foods.

    Tell me again how you know it's the saturated fat?


    Ice. wrote: »

    You can't have a heart attack without all the gunk in your arteries and the main atherosclerotic risk factor is hypercholesterolemia.

    Nope, unless we can tell all those people suffering a heart attack from arteriosclerosis that they were just imagining things. Also atherosclerosis is not sufficient to cause a heart attack, you need ruptured lesions caused by oxidisation. (Omega 6 again!)

    Ice. wrote: »
    The diet of the Maasai of Kenya consists of very high quantities of animal products. All that saturated fat in their diet gives the men as much atherosclerotic plaque lining their arteries as seniors on the Standard American Diet but they don't get heart attacks because a) high levels of physical activity are thought to widen their blood vessels and b) they don't live long enough to die of heart attack, their life expectancy is below 50 yrs.

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/1/26.abstract

    OMG! People with no access to modern medicine in the third world don't live very long shocker!!

    What about those pesky Swiss people living longer than the Japanese despite eating some of the highest levels of saturated fat anywhere in Europe!

    Look at all those countries eating the most saturated fat, it's almost like there's no pattern at all!:pac:

    6a00d8341d0fcc53ef01156f35e74d970b-800wi.png
    Ice. wrote: »
    Thats because it's a combination of things. Not one thing on it's own.

    What? No, when we isolate cigarettes, obesity, exercise and transfats we see a measurable effect. So you're saying saturated fat is magically exempt from this? Seriously, you make this too easy sometimes.


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    Some more fun:

    Look at these papers showing Red Palm oil (a very saturated oil) reversing atherosclerosis:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492629

    http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/apjcn/Volume11/vol11sup5/S433.pdf

    Oh and guys, forget coconut oil, red palm oil is the next trendy sat fat. You heard it hear first. :cool:


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    Another version of the above graph for stats geeks:

    6a00d8341d0fcc53ef01156e9dc1f4970c-pi.png

    And another one using data from the British Heart Foundation and incorporating stroke this time:

    Sat-Fat-CHD.jpeg

    See that line sloping down instead of up?


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    More graphs, this time omega 6 tissue levels (tissue HUFA is a good proxy measure of omega 6 dietary intake):

    hufa.jpg

    Data sets are limited at this time because it's a relatively new test.

    USA topping the poll there with the Japanese and Greenlanders near the bottom. Guess who has the most heart disease?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 147 ✭✭ Ice.


    Yay, Ice, wondering how long you'd take to show up. :D

    What can I say... This forum is like a car crash :D

    Ornish and Esseltyn's diets promote smoking cessation, exercise, stress reduction, omega 6 reduction and less refined foods.

    As should any healthy living plan. As I have said, It's a number of things together, not one isolated thing.

    . Also atherosclerosis is not sufficient to cause a heart attack, you need ruptured lesions caused by oxidisation. (Omega 6 again!)

    According to this study....

    Diet is not just about fasting cholesterol; it is mainly about the postprandial effects of cholesterol, saturated fats, oxidative stress and inflammation. A misplaced focus on fasting lipids obscures three key issues. Dietary cholesterol increases the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to oxidation, increases postprandial lipemia and potentiates the adverse effects of dietary saturated fat.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21076725

    The denial campaign spearheaded by the WAPF of what they call the lipid hypothesis is used as a front for promoting the consumption of high quantities of meat and animal products. While they continually point out the lack of clear associations between (fasting) serum cholesterol and CVD (which we know now is a red herring), they themselves admit it is oxidized LDL which is the greatest risk factor for Myocardial infarction / Ischaemic heart disease. If dietary cholesterol does indeed oxidize LDL then the pro-cholesterol argument actually proves that animal products increase risk for heart disease.

    OMG! People with no access to modern medicine in the third world don't live very long shocker!!

    OMG! People on high saturated fat diet die without modern medicine to keep them alive longer shocker!!

    What? No, when we isolate cigarettes, obesity, exercise and transfats we see a measurable effect.

    Of course when you take these things out of one's diet and include exercise, you will see an improvement in one's health. No great shock there sherlock.
    So you're saying saturated fat is magically exempt from this? Seriously, you make this too easy sometimes

    I didn't say saturated fat is exempt from anything. Magically or otherwise.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,141 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor


    Well no actually my cardiologist and a surgeon in America called Esselstyn who has actually reversed heart disease in seriously ill people by putting them on a diet low in saturated fat.

    That's one, give me 9 more.
    And don't search for 9 more cardiologist. Honestly, the next 9 palces you hear it.

    Obviously you can choose not to bother and just accept my point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,394 ✭✭✭ Transform


    Tremelo wrote: »
    I eat obscene amounts of saturated fat and butter daily, and have done for over a year. Cholesterol reading of 4.2 today according to my doctor, who says that that's an "excellent" result.
    i second that - butter and coconut oil for the win


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    Ice. wrote: »
    Diet is not just about fasting [/URL]cholesterol; it is mainly about the postprandial effects of cholesterol, saturated fats, oxidative stress and inflammation. A misplaced focus on fasting lipids obscures three key issues. Dietary cholesterol increases the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to oxidation, increases postprandial lipemia and potentiates the adverse effects of dietary saturated fat.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21076725

    No it doesn't actually, omega 6 does. You have this thing called a liver that tightly regulates how much cholesterol you eat gets transferred into your blood stream. Unless of course you feed a big bad of oxidised cholesterol to a rat, where the above researchers got their ideas. But human beings don't tend to eat bags of oxidised cholesterol, they eat eggs, the richest dietary source of cholesterol. And do eggs associate with heart disease?
    Nope.
    Ice. wrote: »
    The denial campaign spearheaded by the WAPF of what they call the lipid hypothesis is used as a front for promoting the consumption of high quantities of meat and animal products. While they continually point out the lack of clear associations between (fasting) serum cholesterol and CVD (which we know now is a red herring), they themselves admit it is oxidized LDL which is the greatest risk factor for Myocardial infarction / Ischaemic heart disease. If dietary cholesterol does indeed oxidize LDL then the pro-cholesterol argument actually proves that animal products increase risk for heart disease.

    Again, no it doesn't. These people have a theory based on feeding crapinabag to mice. Check the references. And it's actually called the Diet-Heart hypothesis, the lipid hypothesis is something different. And again, I must remind people not to eat big bags of oxidised isolated cholesterol for breakfast. DON'T DO IT PEOPLE! Fasting serum cholesterol (this is the actual lipid-hypothesis bw) isn't a red herring, you just need to look at particle size in order to make it more accurate.
    Ice. wrote: »
    OMG! People on high saturated fat diet die without modern medicine to keep them alive longer shocker!!

    Compare like with like, the neighboring urban people have lower life expectancy and poorer health in general eating less saturated fat. Most of the low life expectancy is an average that is attributable to death from infectious childhood diseases. But yeah, you go ahead and ignore all the epidemiological evidence that contradicts yours. Ancel Keyes would be proud!

    Ice. wrote: »

    Of course when you take these things out of one's diet and include exercise, you will see an improvement in one's health. No great shock there sherlock.



    I didn't say saturated fat is exempt from anything. Magically or otherwise.
    Yes, you are, you are saying that when you isolate saturated fat as a risk factor for heart disease by controlling for other risk factors it doesn't show any measurable affect (at least you admit that!), but yet it somehow exhibits some harm. Seriously, you should work for a tobacco company if your able to cope with that level of cognitive dissonance.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 507 ✭✭✭ Squeaksoutloud


    Mellor wrote: »
    That's one, give me 9 more.
    And don't search for 9 more cardiologist. Honestly, the next 9 palces you hear it.

    Obviously you can choose not to bother and just accept my point.

    Well I do accept your point...in fact I was showing my mother last night that the 80% lower in saturated fat spread they had was just full of bad vegetable oils and telling them to steer clear of it.

    I ignore any of that kind of low fat advertising as I now don't touch processed foods...well try not to. Its going to be the same no matter what type of diet you are on. I signed up to Mark Sissons daily apple and lo and behold I was being offered supplements in an email a few days later! Also, found some blog from a (very unhealthy looking guy who seems to be trying to eat eggs all the time because he has regained an awful lot of weight on a paleo diet) guy called Jimmy Moore and his page is full of advertisements for low carb bars, healthy chocolate bars etc. This kind of thing is always going to happen.

    I am more interested in what my cardiologist tells me, what I have read about Esselstyns work and also learning from the discussions here. (El Dangeroso on here who obviously knows a lot about the subject as does ICE who has a different view!).


  • Registered Users Posts: 507 ✭✭✭ Squeaksoutloud


    I'm confused!

    El Dangeroso is saying that Omega 6 is the cause of the oxidatation and inflammation yet when i try to find studies telling me not to eat much Omega 6 foods I come up with the American Heart Association recommending Omega 6 foods!

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/omega-6/AN02030

    http://www.physorg.com/news152527394.html

    Could it be that ratio to omega 3 is important?

    I'm an Engineer by trade so used to mathematics and physics with definitive outcomes..this nutrional science has way too much going on!


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    I'm confused!

    El Dangeroso is saying that Omega 6 is the cause of the oxidatation and inflammation yet when i try to find studies telling me not to eat much Omega 6 foods I come up with the American Heart Association recommending Omega 6 foods!

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/omega-6/AN02030

    http://www.physorg.com/news152527394.html

    Could it be that ratio to omega 3 is important?

    I'm an Engineer by trade so used to mathematics and physics with definitive outcomes..this nutrional science has way too much going on!

    I've always said if you're not confused by nutritional science, then you haven't read enough of it!:)

    The reason we're not seeing a major correlation between omega 6 and heart disease is that they are comparing populations that both eat more than 4% of cals as omega 6, once you go above 4% it doesn't make any difference. After this, all you can do is try and outcompete the omega 6 with omega 3, which comes with it's own problems, namely a possible increase in cancer risk. If you google Bill Lands, he's a scientist that's done a load of work in this area.

    If you compare populations that eat less than 4% with those that eat more than 4% the difference is as clear as day.

    Re: the AHA, they are alone in that recommendation of 5-10%, and are sponsored by Unilever, who makes Flora. the WHO and a lot of other dietary organisations (including the Japanese government - who must be doing something right) recommend less than 5%.

    On the subject of the Japanese, the more saturated fat they eat the less their risk of heart disease:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20685950?dopt=AbstractPlus


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    One woman's experience of a personal experiment in raising omega 6:
    http://www.susanallport.com/files/Omega-6_Me.doc

    Notice she didn't go on some crazy unhealthy diet, just changed one thing and ended up a lot unhealthier.

    Linoleic acid, a form of omega 6 is such a potent suppressor of the immune system that they used to make kidney transplant patients swallow lots of it to avoid organ rejection. Until they started noticing that the patients treated with linoleic acid developed more aggressive tumours, so the practice was ceased.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,394 ✭✭✭ Transform


    i must look up a few of the papers i have on file to add to this as everything so far by el dangeroso is spot on.

    Start with the likes of Mark Sisson, Lusting, Wolff, Cordain, W.A Price, Taubes, Kresser.

    They are all saying pretty much the same thing and its NOT as easy as just create a calorie deficit (when dealing with a beginner this might be the easiest route at first though) when dealing with overall health.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 147 ✭✭ Ice.


    No it doesn't actually, omega 6 does.

    Too many Omega-6 fats are pro-inflammatory. Arachidonic Acid (abundant in animal products) promotes inflammation and compromises the body's production of the longer chain omega 3s like DHA when consumed in excess. However green vegetables have a higher ratio of n-3 to n-6 and non-green vegetables & fruits generally have a 1:1 ratio so you are getting the correct amount.
    Again, no it doesn't. These people have a theory based on feeding crapinabag to mice.

    Studies were also carried out on humans.

    Compare like with like, the neighboring urban people have lower life expectancy and poorer health in general eating less saturated fat. Most of the low life expectancy is an average that is attributable to death from infectious childhood diseases.

    The conclusion that physical activity protected the Maasai's vessels was the conclusion of the researcher who did the autopsy's of their blood vessels and saw they were coated in fatty goo.

    But yeah, you go ahead and ignore all the epidemiological evidence that contradicts yours.

    Thats a bit rich coming from you.

    Yes, you are, you are saying that when you isolate saturated fat as a risk factor for heart disease by controlling for other risk factors it doesn't show any measurable affect (at least you admit that!), but yet it somehow exhibits some harm.

    I have no idea what you're babbling on about here.

    Transform wrote: »
    Start with the likes of Mark Sisson, Lusting, Wolff, Cordain, W.A Price, Taubes, Kresser.

    Weston Price recommended wheat as one of the best foods one could consume in his literature. The foundation that bares his name has cherry picked information to their own end. But then, they do that alot.


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    Ice. wrote: »
    Too many Omega-6 fats are pro-inflammatory. Arachidonic Acid (abundant in animal products) promotes inflammation and compromises the body's production of the longer chain omega 3s like DHA when consumed in excess. However green vegetables have a higher ratio of n-3 to n-6 and non-green vegetables & fruits generally have a 1:1 ratio so you are getting the correct amount.

    AA is not as you say 'abundant' in animal products. Beef fat and lamb fat is less than 1% AA, pure pork fat is less than 11% AA and chicken fat is 20% AA. That's the pure fat, you get even less in the context of whole meat. I eat all of the above and keep my omega 6 to less than 10g a day.

    Ice. wrote: »
    Studies were also carried out on humans.

    Oh great, I'll expect you'll have a nice randomised controlled trial to show me then? Oh you don't?

    Ice. wrote: »
    The conclusion that physical activity protected the Maasai's vessels was the conclusion of the researcher who did the autopsy's of their blood vessels and saw they were coated in fatty goo.

    How did the researcher know that? Couldn't be that he was speculating? Nooo, couldn't be that.
    Ice. wrote: »
    Thats a bit rich coming from you.

    Ha! Careful there Ice, you're perilously close to getting the point. That is, the only evidence that is against saturated fat is a tiny minority of poorly designed studies. You rely on those studies but when I show you the majority of conflicting evidence you accuse me of cherry picking. I love it!
    Ice. wrote: »
    I have no idea what you're babbling on about here.

    Let me explain it to you a bit more so you can understand so. In science, we like to do these things called experiments to test our ideas, we isolate different factors using things like statistics and randomisation, we just don't start out with ideas and then cling on to them for dear life despite them being based on a fairytale about the evils of meat and the magic of plants. We look at the totality of evidence and rate the evidence on it's validity.

    You should try it some time. I doubt you will though, to admit you are even the tiniest bit mistaken requires you to question your entire philosophy and is too threatening to your entire belief structure. Such a shame.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,394 ✭✭✭ Transform


    if you were to create a diet that was focused 100% on ruining your health then my top three recommendations would be -

    1. Make at least 60% of your diet filled with junk food and grain based carbs

    2. Eat hardly any good fats but lots of omega 6 fats

    3, Become vegan and fill your diet with lots from point one and two.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 Amtmann


    El Dangeroso, question for you.

    Loren Cordain in The Paleo Diet (revised ed.), pp. 12-13 notes that "when low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets are followed without a decrease in the daily consumption of calories, they are....a nightmare."

    He then writes that "Despite what anybody tells you--despite the outrageous claims of the low-carbohydrate, high-fat doctors--if you eat a lot of the saturated fats found in cheeses, butter and bacon, your cholesterol will go up."

    He goes on to cite a study conducted by Phinney et al. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology whereby nine "healthy, lean men...consumed nothing but meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and cream for thirty-five days [and less than 20g of carbohydrates per day]. Their blood cholesterol levels still went up, from 159 to 208 on average in just thirty-five days."

    Does this change what you're saying, or has the research progressed since Cordain wrote that?

    Also, regarding his caveat about an accompanying reduction in calories when switching from a high-carb to a low-fat diet: does this only apply to people who need to lose weight, or does it apply to anyone?


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  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 5,620 El_Dangeroso


    Lots of people find their cholesterol goes up when they lose weight. This is more than likely due to the liver ridding itself of fat. This is temporary and cholesterol levels normalise after 6 months, so it's always good to have a retest. If cholesterol remains high then it might be a micronutrient deficiency or a thyroid issue.

    Chris Masterjohn has a good post on this:

    http://www.westonaprice.org/blogs/2010/12/10/why-is-my-cholesterol-so-high-on-this-diet/

    But overall the evidence is that saturated fat does not raise LDL, only HDL, which is what you want:

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/01/does-dietary-saturated-fat-increase.html

    If you believed everything Cordain wrote you'd have nothing left to eat. One of his newsletters focused on the dangers of the toxins in bananas, I mean seriously!


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