Study sees possible end of fat-free diets
A U.S. mouse study suggests that, in the future, humans might be able to eat any kind of fat they wish without raising their risk of heart disease.
Wake Forest University researchers, led by Professor Lawrence Rudel, deleted an enzyme in mice and discovered the animals could eat any type of fat and not suffer heart disease.
"If you're a mouse, it's great," Rudel said. "Of course, we don't know yet if it will be the same in humans."
The study involved deleting a gene that causes production of ACAT2, an enzyme that alters the molecular structure of cholesterol so that it can be transported to the body's cells.
"Regardless of the type of fatty acid in the diet, even trans fat, no atherosclerosis occurs if the ACAT2 enzyme isn't present," Rudel said. "Our research in animals tells us that ACAT2 is a potential treatment target to protect people against heart disease."
The findings are reported online in the journal Arteriosclerosis and are to appear in a future print issue.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International