Study: Omega 6 fats may pose dangers
New research is challenging widely held beliefs about the dietary benefits of unsaturated fats, showing that some types long considered healthy, such as corn and safflower oil, may actually harm people with heart problems.
The new results stem from a study published in 1978 that examined links between diet and heart disease. A re-examination of the original research, including some data not part of the previous analysis, found that eating fats identified as omega 6s was linked to higher death rates among research subjects, all men with a history of heart attacks.
"What we found didn't go along with the dietary advice that has been given out for the past half century," said Daisy Zamora, a nutrition epidemiologist with the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Health in Chapel Hill, who was involved in the latest research.
The study was published earlier this month in the British Medical Journal.
Saturated fats, found in butter, red meats, cheeses and other animal-based products, have been known to build up in arteries, hamper blood flow and cause cardiovascular problems. In the 35 years since publication of the landmark Sydney Diet Heart Study, Americans have been urged to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats derived from vegetables, nuts and fish.
Unsaturated fats are divided into two categories - omega 6 and omega 3.
Omega 6 fats come from a wide range of vegetable oils, such as safflower, sunflower and corn oil, and are used heavily by the food industry because they are widely available and inexpensive, said Elisabetta Politi, nutrition director at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center.
She said the new study findings should be considered as useful information by anyone considering day-to-day food choices, but added that she would need to see more research before advising people to stop eating omega 6 fats.
"I think it's better to focus on trying to include more omega 3s, such as salmon or flax seed, in your diet," Politi added.
The original study involved nearly 500 men age 30 to 59 with a previous history of heart disease. Half the group was instructed to use linoleic acid, found in safflower oil, to replace animal and dairy fats in their diets. The other half were not told to change their eating habits at all.
The study did not examine intake of omega 6 and omega 3 fats separately for either group.
According to Zamora, the amount of linoleic acid in American diets has tripled over the past century.
She agrees with Politi that without some additional studies "it would be a jump to say that this is what caused the rise in cardiovascular disease. Yet this is the conclusion we keep going back to."
Zamora said the team reanalyzing the heart-study findings confirmed that substituting saturated fats with omega 6 oil does in fact lower cholesterol levels.
"But our findings also suggest that, even though this happens, the risk of death from cardiovascular disease still increased as much as if they had kept on eating saturated fats," she said.
The new analysis showed that the group substituting omega 6 fats had a 17 percent higher risk of dying than the control group during the course of the study, which ran from 1966 to 1973.
Some foods rich in omega 6 fats:
- canola oil
- corn oil
- pine nuts
- safflower oil
- soybean oil
- sunflower seed oil
- Some foods rich in omega 3 fats:
- flax seed oil
(c)2013 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services
- Study raises questions about dietary fats and heart disease guidance Feb 05, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
- Omega-6 fatty acids: Make them a part of heart-healthy eating Jan 26, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- High percentage of omega-3s in the blood may boost risk of aggressive prostate cancer Apr 25, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Role of omega-3 in preventing cognitive decline in older people questioned Jun 12, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- New research shows saturated and trans fats increase risk of severe heart attacks Aug 01, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
Health 19 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health 21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 23 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 23 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health May 24, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 4
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
23 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 3 |
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
4 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
20 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
23 hours ago | 5 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0