September 2011Monthly Archives

Does the American Heart Association know about these studies?

I continue to read Natural Health & Weight Loss by Barry Groves.  I am currently reading about fats.

A study was done in 1965 by Rose GA et al to assess survival rates in patients eating different fats and oils.  In this study, patients who had already had a heart attack were assigned to one of three groups.  These were given polyunsaturated corn oil, mono-unsaturated olive oil or saturated animal fats respectively.  Blood cholesterol levels were lowered by an average of 30% in the polyunsaturated group, while there was no change in the other two groups.  At first sight, therefore, it seemed that men in the polyunsaturated group had the best chance of survival.  However, at the end of the trial only 52% of the polyunsaturated group were still alive and free of a second heart attack.  Those in the mono-unsaturated group fared little better: 57% survived and had no further attack.  But the saturated animal fats group fared the best with 75% surviving and without a further attack.

There was also a Finnish trial published in 1985 by Miettinen TA et al in which middle aged men were given interventions such as instruction on diet, smoking, and exercise and were also treated for high blood pressure and cholesterol when present.  The control group was given no such interventions.  At the 15-year follow-up, there were 67 total deaths and 34 heart disease deaths in the intervention group.  In the control group, there were 46 total deaths and 14 heart disease deaths.

Would it be fair to say that we are being given bad advice where it relates to heart health?

Barry Groves. Natural Health & Weight Loss, 2007.
Rose GA, Thomson WB, Williams RT. Corn oil in treatment of ischaemic heart disease. Br Med J. 1965 Jun 12;1(5449):1531-3.
Miettinen TA et al. Multifactorial Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases in Middle-aged Men, JAMA. 1985;254(15):2097-2102.