Research: Linoleic Acid, CHD & Death

Research Paper Title:

Use of Dietary Linoliec Acid for Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease and Death: Evaluation of Recovered Data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and Updated Meta-analysis.

Study Question:

Does increasing dietary omega 6 linoliec acid in the place of saturated fat reduce the risk of death from coronary heart disease?

Summary Answer:

In the Sydney Diet Heart Study, a randomized controlled trial conducted in 1966-73, dietary substitution of omega 6 linoliec acid for saturated fat lowered sreum cholesterol but increased deaths from all causes, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease.

What is Known and What this Paper Adds:

Substitution of vegetable oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids for animal fats rich in saturated fatty acids has been a key component of dietary guidelines for more than 50 years. Evaluation of recovered data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study showed that substituting omega 6 linoliec acid for saturated fat lowered serum cholesterol but increased the risk of death from coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease; a mechanistic model accounting for these paradoxical findings is presented.

Source: BMJ 2013;346:e8707.

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