Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Fats and atheroma: a retrial.

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: (Published 17 March 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:732
  1. J I Mann


    The controversy over medical endorsement of dietary measures to reduce cholesterol intake has been reconsidered. The results of several published reports that apparently do not confirm the association between diet, cholesterol concentrations, and ischaemic heart disease (IHD) were found to be largely inapplicable to the argument. Results of primary prevention trials, however, suggested that lowering the cholesterol concentration had a beneficial effect in reducing morbidity from IHD. The "average Western diet" is particularly associated with accelerated or premature atherosclerotic disease, yet the saturated fatty acid component of the diet may be only one of several factors relevant to IHD. Such diets are usually high in refined carbohydrate and total energy intake. Disordered nutrition generally, and other environmental and constitutional factors seem to be important in the aetiology of IHD. A prudent diet, incorporating decreased intake of fats, simple sugars, and refined carbohydrate, with polyunsaturated fats comprising less than 25% of total energy intake, may be the best method of reducing the incidence of IHD and other diseases of overnutrition.