The Straight Facts, Whether You Like It Or Not



Research Updates

Anthony Colpo,
Jan 18, 2010.

Saturated Fat Is Not Associated With Cardiovascular Disease

A couple of weeks back I shared with readers a WHO and FAO-sanctioned review showing that saturated fat and total fat intake were not associated with cardiovascular disease. Hot on the heels of that report comes a similar paper, appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also concluding that saturated fat shows no association with heart disease or stroke.

Researchers from Harvard Univerity and the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute pooled the data from twenty-one prospective epidemiologic studies examining the association of dietary saturated fat with coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) risk.

During 5–23 years' 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 for CHD, 0.81 for stroke, and 1.00 for CVD. In other words, those who ate the highest amounts of saturated fat had no greater risk of CVD than those who ate the lowest. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results[6].

Those of you tempted to dismiss these findings as the work of pro-meat/dairy/egg industry shills or fringe-dwelling skeptics should note that one of the authors, Dr. Ronald Krauss, has worked at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), has been a Senior Advisor to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), and is actively involved with the American Heart Association (AHA), having served as Chairman of the Nutrition Committee. He is founder and Chair of the AHA Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism. The NHLBI, NCEP and AHA have all been key players in gaining global acceptance for the pseudo-scientific absurdity that constitutes the lipid hypothesis of heart disease.

Swedish Farmers Live Longer on Dairy Fat and Veggies

Last year, a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reported on CHD mortality and morbidity among 1,752 Swedish rural males. During 12-years' follow-up, 88 died during follow-up, 335 were hospitalized or died due to CVD and 138 were hospitalized or died due to CHD.

When the dietary records of the men were analyzed, the crude unadjusted data showed that consumption of cream and full-fat milk and daily consumption of fruit and vegetables were associated with a lower risk of CHD. When the data was adjusted for confounding factors the only statistically significant dietary factor associated with reduced CHD was the combination of daily fruit and vegetable intake and high dairy fat consumption (relative risk = 0.39). Choosing wholemeal bread or eating fish at least twice a week showed no association with CHD. Farmers developed less coronary heart disease than non-farmers[7].

Japanese with High Cholesterol Live Longer

The Japanese have long been cited in support of the lipid hypothesis, but there is an abundance of research involving Japanese participants showing this hypothesis is in fact complete nonsense. The latest of such studies appeared in the Journal of Lipid Nutrition[8].

Japanese citizens over the age of 40 qualify for free annual health check-ups. The Fukui Study was based on data collected by the Public Health Center of Fukui from such check ups between 1986 and 1990 of residents of Fukui City in Japan. Researchers stratified 22,971 participants into groups according to their cholesterol levels.

Compared with those in the 240-259 mg/dl category, those in the 160-169 mg/dl (both sexes) and the 140-159 mg/dl (women) groups suffered significantly higher all-cause mortality.

Next, the researchers conducted a meta-analysis of five large Japanese studies (including the Fukui Study) with a combined total of over 170,000 subjects to examine cholesterol levels and all-cause mortality.

Participants with cholesterol levels between 160-199 mg/dL were chosen as the reference group. The meta-analysis revealed that the relative risk in the <160 mg/dL group was significantly higher than in the reference group [RR = 1.71], and that the relative risks in the 200-239 mg/dL and >240 mg/dL groups were significantly lower than in the reference group [RRs of 0.83 and 0.78, respectively].

The authors suggest that "Japanese subjects with cholesterol levels >240 mg/dL (>6.22 mmol/L) should not be regarded as hypercholesterolemic or dyslipidemic except when having some genetic disorders like familial hypercholesterolemia because they are in the safest ranges in terms of all-cause mortality".

NOTE TO JAPAN: Along with muffin tops, Snoop Dogg clothing and Big Brother, cholesterol lowering is one trend from the West you should definitely ignore. It's a wank.


1. Siri-Tarino PW, et al. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published ahead of print January 13, 2010. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725.

2. Holmberg S, et al. Food Choices and Coronary Heart Disease: A Population Based Cohort Study of Rural Swedish Men with 12 Years of Follow-up. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2009; 6: 2626-2638.

3. Kirihara Y, et al. The Relationship between Total Blood Cholesterol Levels and All-cause Mortality in Fukui City, and Meta-analysis of This Relationship in Japan. Journal of Lipid Nutrition, 2008; 17 (1): 67-78.

Anthony Colpo is an independent researcher, physical conditioning specialist, and author of the groundbreaking books The Fat Loss Bible and The Great Cholesterol Con. For more information, visit or

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