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But what if saturated fats don't clog arteries?

Posted by David_Brown on 31 Dec 2019 at 15:33 GMT

Almost the whole World has been persuaded that swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats reduces risk for heart attack. There may be some truth to that. However, the explanation for the effect apparently nothing to do with cholesterol levels. A better explanation has to do with this. "In a group of healthy human subjects, percentages of oleic acid and arachidonic acid were inversely related, and the inverse association persisted when controlling for possible confounding variables. The findings might contribute to explain positive health effects of foods rich in oleic acid."[1]

This inverse association does not exist for saturated fats. Consequently, when oleic acid is substituted for medium or long chain saturated fats, a reduction in arachidonic acid status of cell membranes is the likely result. Why is the arachidonic acid status of cell membranes important? Excerpt: "Much AA in the diet may contribute to prostaglandin overproduction in disease situations in humans, but some AA is necessary for virtually every body function. Dietary sources of AA are especially meat, eggs and offal, with smaller amounts coming from milk and fish."[2]

Due to the widespread practice of feeding grains to livestock, the arachidonic acid content of monogastric animal products (pork, turkey, poultry) has become excessive.[3] While ruminant animal products (cattle, sheep) are not as enriched in arachidonic acid as monogastrics, their saturated fat content is enhanced through biohydrogenation of linoleic acid to stearic acid.[4]

In light of the above, a return to feeding livestock up on green forage should have a positive impact on population health. In addition, people who are genetically configured to convert linoleic acid to arachidonic acid would do well to reduce meat intake and avoid consuming seed oils rich in linoleic acid.[5]

References
1. https://lipidworld.biomed...
2. https://lipidworld.biomed...
3. https://link.springer.com...
4. https://pdfs.semanticscho...
5. https://www.thefencepost....

No competing interests declared.