After reevaluating the early studies of saturated fat and heart disease no evidence was substantiated that saturated fat causes heart disease:
Conclusions: “A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.”
Interestingly, red meat seems to be related to heart disease AND cancer, so if it’s NOT saturated fat, WHAT makes red meat dangerous? It turns out the “red” comes from a lot of iron, and THAT may be the culprit in heart disease:
Too Much Iron May Lead to Heart Attack
FROM THE WEBMD ARCHIVES
Oct. 25, 2000 (Washington) — As the level of iron goes up in your bloodstream, so apparently does your risk for heart attack and stroke. A new study by Japanese researchers shows that high-level iron injections can cause almost immediate constriction of blood vessels. In fact, the scientists believe the iron damage could be the first step in a cascade of events leading to the thickening and hardening of the arteries known as atherosclerosis.
“Our study shows that we should recognize iron as a risk factor,” says Hidehiro Matsuoka, MD, PhD, lead researcher and chief of the Kurume University School of Medicine’s hypertension program. The cardiologist presented his findings Wednesday at the 54th Annual Fall Conference of the American Heart Association’s Council for High Blood Pressure Research.
The debate over iron’s effect on heart disease has preoccupied doctors for years. A number of studies have suggested a link. Those who suffer from abnormally high levels of iron in the blood are believed to have an elevated risk for heart problems. But people who donate blood, depleting their iron levels in the process, may be less prone to heart attack.
However, the Japanese study apparently is the first to show that deliberately increasing a person’s iron interferes with the lining of the blood vessels, called the endothelium. After giving 10 healthy young men a megadose of iron, the researchers used high-resolution ultrasonography to measure any impact on blood flow.
According to Matsuoka, the normal blood vessel dilation was reduced by as much as one-third by the experiment. It’s not clear what causes the change, but it could be that the iron generates oxygen free radicals, which have been linked to both cancer and heart disease.
I eat little meat of any kind and mostly Chicken, but I have long wondered at how little evidence there was against meat eating and heart disease and cancer. Now if this is true it opens up a simple cure for heart disease and allows those who like meat to eat it freely without danger of disease. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for meat eaters to just take a supplement to reduce iron in the blood instead of adopting the Soy boy diet? I’m sure Ahanata would approve, I know she took great umbrage years ago when I posted some research implicating meat in disease. Now this research is in the early stage so we can’t recommend any changes to diet, but it’s interesting.
h/t Natura Naturans