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Historical Event

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January 4, 1985

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"not show that lowering cholesterol makes a difference”





Science - Gina Kolata


Important Text:

In the January 4, 1985, issue of Science, Gina Kolata covered the 47th consensus panel report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), published some three weeks earlier. Since 1961, the American Heart Association had asked Americans to reduce their intake of saturated fats and cholesterol and recommended its “prudent diet” emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and vegetable oils. The NIH had been hesitant to take a firm position on the diet-heart hypothesis, according to Kolata, because the scientific literature focusing on the connection between dietary cholesterol and saturated fatty acids (SFA) on the one hand, and heart disease on the other, did “not show that lowering cholesterol makes a difference” (Kolata 1985).

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Low Fat / Low Cholesterol Study
Diet-Heart Hypothesis
The diet-heart hypothesis, also known as the lipid hypothesis, proposes that there is a direct relationship between dietary fat intake, particularly saturated fat and cholesterol, and the development of heart disease. It suggests that consuming high amounts of these fats leads to an increase in blood cholesterol levels, specifically low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which in turn contributes to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries. Some consider this hypothesis nothing more than wishful thinking.
Cholesterol is an animal based molecule that forms cell membranes. It's a lipid known as a sterol. Cholesterol is found in all animal foods and is healthy to eat, despite the opinions set forth by the diet-heart hypothesis. Lipoproteins carry cholesterol as well as other lipids.
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