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The latest dictate from the government is to reduce salt. This reduction message is linked to various health concern from hypertension and stomach cancer. Hopefully the science that they are relying on is a little more robust than the science that supports the low saturated fat message.

The saturarted fat message is based on various studies that have been accumulated over the past 30-40 years and one might have presumed that the studies being provided as robust evidence of a link between CVD and saturated fat would show conclusively that saturated fats cause CVD.

Well guess what ……they don’t!

Here is a very brief summary of what the studies and you will be surprised to find that not one study conclusively proves that there is a link and not only that most of the studies always combine a high fat diet with a high starch diet. Clearly our Government is not particularly interested in the quality of the information it recieves. This is not a new problem.

Since the early 80s there have been 46 studies trying to show this absolute link between the intake of saturated fats and heart disease. Of these only four show any association and those were epidemiological and a further 6 found a slight benefit from reducing saturated fats but those had many other variables from medication or supplements, or other factors such as smoking and exercise which could have distorted the outcomes. The very best studies to prove cause and effect are called double-blind studies. These ensure that neither the researchers nor the participants
know who is and who is not receiving intervention. To date there have only been two double-blind studies and neither showed a connection between saturated fats and heart disease.

All in all this is not very robust science but this has not stopped our government blaming much of the obestiy epedemic and CVD figures on the intake of saturated fat.

Here hoping that the salt message is based on proper clincial trials which show the impact of salt when you combine different foods.

6 October 2009

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