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Your Body Needs Saturated Fat and Cholesterol

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's HEalth Issues page and our Appetite For a Change page.

The video above is a special edition of Catalyst, aired on ABC News in Australia. In it, Dr. Maryanne Demasi investigates the science behind the persistent claim that saturated fat causes heart disease by raising cholesterol.

I highly recommend setting aside an hour to watch it, as it does an excellent job describing how we got so far down the wrong track.

The idea that high cholesterol causes heart disease can be traced back to Rudolph Virchow (1821-1902), a German pathologist who found thickening in the arteries in people he autopsied, which he ascribed to a collection of cholesterol.

He was followed by Ancel Keys (1904-2004), a well-known physiologist who published his seminal paper known as the "Seven Countries Study" in 1963. This first major report linking saturated animal fat consumption to heart disease served as the basis for nearly all of the initial scientific support for the Cholesterol Theory.

What many don't know is that data was actually available from 22 countries, but Keys selectively analyzed information from only seven of them. The seven countries chosen held true to his initial theory.   
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