1. Joined
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    20 Oct '12 18:442 edits
    I have recently been disturbed to find a large number of rather convincing websites that basically say or imply one or more of the following:

    1, saturated fat does not necessarily increase cholesterol and often doesn't.

    2, high blood cholesterol does not necessarily significantly increase your risk of hard disease and often doesn't.

    3, there is no evidence that eating more saturated fat while, at the same time, eating less polyunsaturated fat i.e. having a high saturated/polyunsaturated dietary fat ratio increases your risk of hart disease and there never was any such evidence!

    I immediately wondered if this was coming from a delusional wishful thinking minority of 'cholesterol theory deniers' that are rather like those idiot 'global warming deniers' or 'moon landing deniers' etc but what these websites are saying looks so convincing that I am not so sure if these 'deniers' are like those crazed other types of deniers.
    I posted some of these websites that I find 'convincing' here in my next posts.

    Well?
    Do you think this is just a load of delusional crap coming from a crazed minority that, like the global warming deniers, massively distort/misrepresent the evidence on these websites and ignore the basic scientific facts?
    Or is the standard theory on cholesterol probably false and there realy was never any evidence to support it and we all really have been simply taken for a long ride by the 'health' food marketers?
    I am beginning to think the latter but fear I could be wrong.
    Can anyone show a link giving conclusive irrefutable evidence apparently clearly showing a causal link between a high saturated/polyunsaturated dietary fat ratio and heart disease?

    Some definite facts I have managed to pin down are:
    1, blood cholesterol does not come from the diet but is produced from the body itself.
    2, cholesterol and saturated fat are totally chemically unrelated. If you just look at their structural formulas you can clearly see this. A cholesterol molecule has several carbon rings while fat doesn't normally have any carbon rings!

    I was also shocked to more recently hear the same thing about antioxidants! I just assumed that it was a proven scientific fact that dietary antioxidants protect against cancer but there are websites that say that is a load of crap!
    Just for starters, many types of antioxidants found in food cannot and do not enter the blood!
  2. Joined
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    20 Oct '12 18:442 edits
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22116724/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/what-if-bad-fat-isnt-so-bad/#.UILnv1Fau_I


    “ Suppose you were forced to live on a diet of red meat and whole milk. A diet that, all told, was at least 60 percent fat — about half of it saturated. If your first thoughts are of statins and stents, you may want to consider the curious case of the Masai, a nomadic tribe in Kenya and Tanzania.

    In the 1960s, a Vanderbilt University scientist named George Mann, M.D., found that Masai men consumed this very diet (supplemented with blood from the cattle they herded). Yet these nomads, who were also very lean, had some of the lowest levels of cholesterol ever measured and were virtually free of heart disease.
    Scientists, confused by the finding, argued that the tribe must have certain genetic protections against developing high cholesterol. But when British researchers monitored a group of Masai men who moved to Nairobi and began consuming a more modern diet, they discovered that the men's cholesterol subsequently skyrocketed.
    Similar observations were made of the Samburu — another Kenyan tribe — as well as the Fulani of Nigeria. While the findings from these cultures seem to contradict the fact that eating saturated fat leads to heart disease, it may surprise you to know that this "fact" isn't a fact at all. It is, more accurately, a hypothesis from the 1950s that's never been proved.
    The first scientific indictment of saturated fat came in 1953. That's the year a physiologist named Ancel Keys, Ph.D., published a highly influential paper titled "Atherosclerosis, a Problem in Newer Public Health." Keys wrote that while the total death rate in the United States was declining, the number of deaths due to heart disease was steadily climbing. And to explain why, he presented a comparison of fat intake and heart disease mortality in six countries: the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Italy, and Japan.
    The Americans ate the most fat and had the greatest number of deaths from heart disease; the Japanese ate the least fat and had the fewest deaths from heart disease. The other countries fell neatly in between. The higher the fat intake, according to national diet surveys, the higher the rate of heart disease. And vice versa. Keys called this correlation a "remarkable relationship" and began to publicly hypothesize that consumption of fat causes heart disease. This became known as the diet-heart hypothesis.
    At the time, plenty of scientists were skeptical of Keys's assertions. One such critic was Jacob Yerushalmy, Ph.D., founder of the biostatistics graduate program at the University of California at Berkeley. In a 1957 paper, Yerushalmy pointed out that while data from the six countries Keys examined seemed to support the diet-heart hypothesis, statistics were actually available for 22 countries. And when all 22 were analyzed, the apparent link between fat consumption and heart disease disappeared. For example, the death rate from heart disease in Finland was 24 times that of Mexico, even though fat-consumption rates in the two nations were similar.
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    The other salient criticism of Keys's study was that he had observed only a correlation between two phenomena, not a clear causative link. So this left open the possibility that something else — unmeasured or unimagined — was leading to heart disease. After all, Americans did eat more fat than the Japanese, but perhaps they also consumed more sugar and white bread, and watched more television.
    Despite the apparent flaws in Keys's argument, the diet-heart hypothesis was compelling, and it was soon heavily promoted by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the media. It offered the worried public a highly educated guess as to why the country was in the midst of a heart-disease epidemic. "People should know the facts," Keys said in a 1961 interview with Time magazine, for which he appeared on the cover. "Then if they want to eat themselves to death, let them."
    The seven-countries study, published in 1970, is considered Ancel Keys's landmark achievement. It seemed to lend further credence to the diet-heart hypothesis. In this study, Keys reported that in the seven countries he selected — the United States, Japan, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Finland, and the Netherlands — animal-fat intake was a strong predictor of heart attacks over a 5-year period. Just as important, he noted an association between total cholesterol and heart-disease mortality. This prompted him to conclude that the saturated fats in animal foods — and not other types of fat — raise cholesterol and ultimately lead to heart disease.
    Naturally, proponents of the diet-heart hypothesis hailed the study as proof that eating saturated fat leads to heart attacks. But the data was far from rock solid. That's because in three countries (Finland, Greece, and Yugoslavia), the correlation wasn't seen.
    For example, eastern Finland had five times as many heart-attack fatalities and twice as much heart disease as western Finland, despite only small differences between the two regions in animal-fat intake and cholesterol levels. And while Keys provided that raw data in his report, he glossed over it as a finding. Perhaps a larger problem, though, was his assumption that saturated fat has an unhealthy effect on cholesterol levels.
    Trio of saturated fats
    Although more than a dozen types of saturated fat exist, humans predominantly consume three: stearic acid, palmitic acid, and lauric acid. This trio comprises almost 95 percent of the saturated fat in a hunk of prime rib, a slice of bacon, or a piece of chicken skin, and nearly 70 percent of that in butter and whole milk.
    Today, it's well established that stearic acid has no effect on cholesterol levels. In fact, stearic acid — which is found in high amounts in cocoa as well as animal fat — is converted to a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid in your liver. This is the same heart-healthy fat found in olive oil. As a result, scientists generally regard this saturated fatty acid as either benign or potentially beneficial to your health.
    Palmitic and lauric acid, however, are known to raise total cholesterol. But here's what's rarely reported: Research shows that although both of these saturated fatty acids increase LDL ("bad"😉 cholesterol, they raise HDL ("good"😉 cholesterol just as much, if not more. And this lowers your risk of heart disease. That's because it's commonly believed that LDL cholesterol lays down plaque on your artery walls, while HDL removes it. So increasing both actually reduces the proportion of bad cholesterol in your blood to the good kind. This may explain why numerous studies have reported that this HDL/LDL ratio is a better predictor of future heart disease than LDL alone.
    All of this muddies Keys's claim of a clear connection between saturated-fat intake, cholesterol, and heart disease. If saturated fat doesn't raise cholesterol in such a way that it increases heart-disease risk, then according to the scientific method, the diet-heart hypothesis must be rejected. However, in 1977 it was still a promising idea.
    That was the year Congress made it government policy to recommend a low-fat diet, based primarily on the opinions of health experts who supported the diet-heart hypothesis. It was a decision met with much criticism from the scientific community, including the American Medical Association. After all, officially endorsing a low-fat diet could change the eating habits of millions of Americans, and the potential effects of this strategy were widely debated and certainly unproved.
    We've spent billions of our tax dollars trying to prove the diet-heart hypothesis. Yet study after study has failed to provide definitive evidence that saturated-fat intake leads to heart disease. The most recent example is the Women's Health Initiative, the government's largest and most expensive ($725 million) diet study yet. The results, published last year, show that a diet low in total fat and saturated fat had no impact in reducing heart-disease and stroke rates in some 20,000 women who had adhered to the regimen for an average of 8 years.
    But this paper, like many others, plays down its own findings and instead points to four studies that, many years ago, apparently did find a link between saturated fat and heart disease. Because of this, it's worth taking a closer look at each.

    ...continued....
  3. Joined
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    20 Oct '12 18:48
    Originally posted by humy
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22116724/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/what-if-bad-fat-isnt-so-bad/#.UILnv1Fau_I


    “ Suppose you were forced to live on a diet of red meat and whole milk. A diet that, all told, was at least 60 percent fat — about half of it saturated. If your first thoughts are of statins and stents, you may want to consider the curious case of ...[text shortened]... use of this, it's worth taking a closer look at each.

    ...
    continued....

    The Los Angeles VA Hospital Study (1969) This UCLA study of 850 men reported that those who replaced saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats were less likely to die of heart disease and stroke over a 5-year period than were men who didn't alter their diets. However, more of those who changed their diets died of cancer, and the average age of death was the same in both groups. What's more, "through an oversight," the study authors neglected to collect crucial data on smoking habits from about 100 men. They also reported that the men successfully adhered to the diet only half the time.
    The Oslo Diet-Heart Study (1970) Two hundred men followed a diet low in saturated fat for 5 years while another group ate as they pleased. The dieters had fewer heart attacks, but there was no difference in total deaths between the two groups.
    The Finnish Mental Hospital Study (1979) This trial took place from 1959 to 1971 and appeared to document a reduction in heart disease in psychiatric patients following a "cholesterol-lowering" diet. But the experiment was poorly controlled: Almost half of the 700 participants joined or left the study over its 12-year duration.
    The St. Thomas' Atherosclerosis Regression Study (1992) Only 74 men completed this 3-year study conducted at St. Thomas' Hospital, in London. It found a reduction in cardiac events among men with heart disease who adopted a low-fat diet. There's a major caveat, though: Their prescribed diets were also low in sugar.
    Flawed studies
    These four studies, even though they have serious flaws and are tiny compared with the Women's Health Initiative, are often cited as definitive proof that saturated fats cause heart disease. Many other more recent trials cast doubt on the diet-heart hypothesis. These studies should be considered in the context of all the other research.
    In 2000, a respected international group of scientists called the Cochrane Collaboration conducted a "meta-analysis" of the scientific literature on cholesterol-lowering diets. After applying rigorous selection criteria (219 trials were excluded), the group examined 27 studies involving more than 18,000 participants. Although the authors concluded that cutting back on dietary fat may help reduce heart disease, their published data actually shows that diets low in saturated fats have no significant effect on mortality, or even on deaths due to heart attacks."
  4. Joined
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    20 Oct '12 19:021 edit
    http://thehealthadvantage.com/cholesterol.html

    http://books.google.co.uk/[WORD TOO LONG]

    http://www.thegreatcholesterolcon.com/

    http://anthonycolpo.com/the-cholesterol-theory-of-heart-disease-is-nonsense/

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-430682/Have-conned-cholesterol.html

    http://www.cholesterol-guide-review-solution.com/cholesterolmyths.html

    -and many more websites like the above.
  5. Cape Town
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    21 Oct '12 07:21
    I confess total ignorance of the different types of fat and their effects. However, if you really want to stay healthy and live longer, there is nothing better than maintaining at least a minimal level of fitness and keeping your weight down.
  6. Joined
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    21 Oct '12 08:055 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I confess total ignorance of the different types of fat and their effects. However, if you really want to stay healthy and live longer, there is nothing better than maintaining at least a minimal level of fitness and keeping your weight down.
    Actually, I was unconcerned with staying healthy and live longer here in the context of my OP here although I, of course, I would obviously want that very much.
    ( Incidentally, I am personally borderline-underweight! -and always have been! I am not sure if keeping my weight down would be healthier for me personally although I know it is healthier for the average person )
    I am just trying to determine if this claim that the cholesterol theory is just a myth is valid and, if it is indeed just a myth, tell everyone I can convince so that they know.

    I neglected to mention in my OP that nobody I am aware of concerned with this debate is claiming that eating massively excessive amounts of fat is harmless to health.


    Any relevant experts or health professionals here on these forums like to comment here?
  7. Germany
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    21 Oct '12 11:09
    Looking through the Wikipedia article it seems like there is a small but significant health risk associated with high levels of LDL cholesterol, though it's certainly emphasised too much, and if one is obese, losing weight should be the #1 priority, not lowering cholesterol.

    As for antioxidants, these don't do anything. Another common misconception is that organic food is healthier. Also, vitamin supplements tend to useless or even counterproductive unless specifically prescribed by a doctor for a specific purpose.
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    21 Oct '12 13:31
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Looking through the Wikipedia article it seems like there is a small but significant health risk associated with high levels of LDL cholesterol, though it's certainly emphasised too much, and if one is obese, losing weight should be the #1 priority, not lowering cholesterol.

    As for antioxidants, these don't do anything. Another common misconception i ...[text shortened]... s or even counterproductive unless specifically prescribed by a doctor for a specific purpose.
    For me personally, for some reason, and I hope it is not a negative thing, my cholesterol level has always been very low, a reading under 100, 98 that kind of level.

    It has slightly bothered me why I would have such a low level but am somewhat overweight and I eat anything I want, although lately have cut down on the carbs, less pies and such. My weight is around 230 pounds, a bit over 100 Kg and has been for a couple of decades which is a bit high for someone as short as I am, 6 foot 1 inch.

    I am supposed to weight about 190 I think, but don't seem to have many health issues at age 71 except tendency to high blood pressure, controlled with Diovan. That is the only prescription drug I take.

    I think my high blood pressure is due to stress on the job, still working full time.

    I am thinking I must be healthy in general since my weight does not fluctuate more than a few pounds but still slightly worried about such a low cholesterol level, not losing any sleep over it but don't understand what it is about my system that leads to such low levels. Especially when I hear people quite satisfied with numbers twice as high.
  9. Joined
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    21 Oct '12 16:09
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Looking through the Wikipedia article it seems like there is a small but significant health risk associated with high levels of LDL cholesterol, though it's certainly emphasised too much, and if one is obese, losing weight should be the #1 priority, not lowering cholesterol.

    As for antioxidants, these don't do anything. Another common misconception i ...[text shortened]... s or even counterproductive unless specifically prescribed by a doctor for a specific purpose.
    Another common misconception is that organic food is healthier. Also, vitamin supplements tend to useless or even counterproductive

    yes, I have long known both of these facts esp about all the nonsense about organic food and not just the nonsense about it being healthier!
    Organic growing is generally the application of pseudoscience that makes totally arbitrary and illogical distinction between “chemicals” and “organic” ignoring the fact that you and I and all food we eat is made of 100% chemical! If we removed all chemicals from our food, we would starve!
  10. Joined
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    21 Oct '12 16:284 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    For me personally, for some reason, and I hope it is not a negative thing, my cholesterol level has always been very low, a reading under 100, 98 that kind of level.

    It has slightly bothered me why I would have such a low level but am somewhat overweight and I eat anything I want, although lately have cut down on the carbs, less pies and such. My weight to such low levels. Especially when I hear people quite satisfied with numbers twice as high.
    If I am interpreting the evidence from research correctly, you probably shouldn't be concerned much about your cholesterol being too high or low ( unless it deviates from the norm to the extreme ) but rather you should be concerned about being overweight and it isn't the total fat consumption that you should be concerned about but rather your total calorie intake plus your total sugar and salt intake.

    Also, contrary to popular opinion, there is very little difference of what sort of sugar you consume and there is no distinction between “natural” sugar and white sugar because white sugar IS natural! (which, of course, doesn’t imply it is good for you because rabies is also natural) . If you over consume sugar, it is bad for you regardless of if it is all white sugar or fruit sugar or brown sugar or honey -makes little difference! It is thought that generally it is a bit less harmful to over consume fructose sugar than sucrose and a bit worse to over-consume glucose than sucrose so glucose is the 'worst' sugar to over consume but there really isn't much difference.

    Reducing your salt intake should reduce your blood pressure although if it is stress that is causing the high blood pressure then, obviously, reducing the stress would be better.

    Personally I am almost underweight and have healthy blood pressure and never smoke and almost never drink alcohol ( and only drink a tiny amount when I do ) and eat an extremely healthy diet ( practically nothing but fruit and veg - no added sugar and absolutely no junk food whatsoever! ) although I am definitely guilty of not doing enough exercise.
  11. Cape Town
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    21 Oct '12 18:46
    Originally posted by humy
    Also, contrary to popular opinion, there is very little difference of what sort of sugar you consume
    Brown sugar does have some vitamins that are not found in white sugar. But yes, when it come to fattening there is no difference.
    There is also difference when it comes to the various calories you take in in that it affects how hungry you are afterwards and thus how much you eat later. Some foods cause you to desire to eat more.
  12. Joined
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    29 Oct '12 11:297 edits
    I have just found out something that casts even more doubt in my mind about the validity of the standard cholesterol theory:

    I had implicitly just assumed that part of the standard cholesterol theory says that cholesterol in the blood causes hardening of the arteries by cholesterol being deposited from the blood to the sides of the arteries to form the plaque typically found in hardened arteries. I just therefore implicitly assumed that the plaque typically found in hardened arteries consists mainly of cholesterol and the scientists simply assumed from this mere fact that that would mean the cholesterol in the blood is to blame.
    But then, after looking up various websites over the net, I find out that, to my total surprise, that the plaque found in hardened arteries does NOT consist of mainly cholesterol and cholesterol only makes a miner component of plaque and plaque even sometimes has very little cholesterol!

    OK, so therefore here is my burning question to any experts on this cholesterol theory:

    Where the hell did the theory that cholesterol in the blood causes the plaque found in hardened arteries come from when that plaque mainly does NOT consist of cholesterol!?
    Which scientists first concluded that the formation of plaque found in hardened arteries is caused by blood cholesterol and, much more relevantly, HOW exactly did they conclude this? I mean, exactly what was their reasoning process that made them go from “there is some cholesterol in the blood” and “there is some cholesterol in plaque found in hardened arteries but only as a miner component so that that plaque mainly does NOT consist of cholesterol” to “the formation of plaque found in hardened arteries is CAUSED by blood cholesterol! “? because I am obviously missing something here because that simply doesn't make any sense to me at all!

    Surely there must have been some other data that would make them suspect that cholesterol had something to do with it? If so, what was this data? If not, and if no expert can give me a straight answer to my above questions, then I would be forced to conclude that the whole cholesterol theory is based on such bad invalid science that it is just pure pseudoscience and it is bordering on scientific fraud and the whole cholesterol theory is almost certainly false ( and can only be true by sheer coincidence because it can only be true DESPITE the totally invalid reasoning currently used to support it ) and the scientists that came up with the theory are complete idiots!

    There seems to be more holes in the standard cholesterol theory than in Swiss cheese.
  13. SubscriberProper Knob
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    29 Oct '12 11:53
    Originally posted by humy
    I have just found out something that casts even more doubt in my mind about the validity of the standard cholesterol theory:

    I had implicitly just assumed that part of the standard cholesterol theory says that cholesterol in the blood causes hardening of the arteries by cholesterol being deposited from the blood to the sides of the arteries to form the plaqu ...[text shortened]... diots!

    There seems to be more holes in the standard cholesterol theory than in Swiss cheese.
    I've not read the thread, don't have time at the moment. But have a read of this blog, (apologies if you've covered it already)

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cholesterol/#axzz2AgiuWCga
  14. Joined
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    29 Oct '12 16:041 edit
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    I've not read the thread, don't have time at the moment. But have a read of this blog, (apologies if you've covered it already)

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cholesterol/#axzz2AgiuWCga
    Thanks for that link! I think it actually answers my questions because it says:

    “...Heart disease took off in the early part of the twentieth century, and doctors frantically searched for the cause throughout the next several decades. Tests in the fifties initially showed an association between early death by heart disease and fat deposits and lesions along artery walls. Because cholesterol was found to be present in those deposits (of course it would!) and because researchers had previously associated familial hypercholesterolaemia (hereditary high blood cholesterol) with heart disease, they concluded that cholesterol must be the culprit....
    ...”

    which answers my main question of why they thought cholesterol was the cause BUT, that clearly means those scientists were just jumping to stupid unscientific assumptions ( just as I very strongly suspected ) and, both before and after that above quote, it explains why those assumptions were almost certainly completely wrong!
    So clearly this just confirms my suspicions that the whole of the standard cholesterol theory is just a load of extremely bad pseudo-scientific claptrap with no premise
    and that we should therefore all spread the message to everyone that cholesterol is not bad for you before this myth of cholesterol being bad does any more harm.

    Are there any health experts here that would say that the standard cholesterol theory is actually correct? If so, what counterargument can you give here?
  15. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    30 Oct '12 04:05
    Tim Noakes: heart disease theory 'has failed'
    http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/heart-disease-theory-an-error-noakes-1.1384290

    Tim Noakes called a 'cholesterol denialist'
    http://www.health24.com/medical/Condition_centres/777-792-812-1741,76665.asp
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