I found this while reading the reviews of a new paleo book, The Everything Paleolithic Book. The following is a comment reply from Riley to the 3 star review from Sarah B.
"Dr. Cordain has changed his position more than a little on the saturated fat issue over the past few years and with much research. The quote below is from Dr Cordain's 'Paleo Diet Q & A'.
Saturated fatty acid intake and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a topic with a lot of controversy. In recent years a wide body of research has suggested that increased consumption of certain saturated fatty acids (Lauric acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid) down-regulate LDL receptor and thereby increase LDL plasma levels, which has been associated to increased risk of CVD. On the other hand, stearic acid (a 18 carbon saturated fatty acid) has been shown to decrease LDL plasma levels. However, this view is too simplistic as there are several other factors contributing to CVD, such as smoking, exercise, trans-fatty acids, increased omega-6/omega-3 ratio, free-radicals, nutrient deficiency, homocysteine, alcohol intake and low-grade chronic inflammation among others.
Moreover, some studies have suggested that there's not enough scientific data to support the view that increased total or LDL cholesterol is an independent risk factor for CVD, but rather oxidized LDL. Plaque production is mediated by oxidized LDL, not LDL. Oxidized LDL can produce shedding of the inner layer of the artery namely glycocalix. Oxidized LDL then infiltrates the intima of the artery. Oxidized LDL is eaten by macrophages, a process known as phagocytosis, causing macrophages to be transformed into foam cells which produce the fibrous cap.
Once the fibrous cap has been produced we need to break it down in order to produce an ischemic event. Lectins and low-grade chronic inflammation are involved in the activation of matrix metalloproteinases which break down the fibrous cap.
In summary, high total cholesterol or LDL levels do not increase CVD risk--rather oxidized LDL increases risk of CVD. To produce oxidized LDL requires the factors mentioned above. Hence, consumption of saturated fatty acids is not an issue if we control several other factors such as those mentioned.
Dr. Cordain wrote a book chapter and published a paper (with our team member Pedro Bastos) where he shows that saturated fat consumption in ancient hunter-gatherer populations were usually 10-15% above the recommended 10% of energy from saturated fats, yet they were non-atherogenic.
The bottom line is that we do not recommend cutting down saturated fatty acid intake, but decreasing high-glycemic load foods, vegetable oils, refined sugars, grains, legumes and dairy.
Loren's opinion that saturated fats DO increase plaque in the arteries. However, Loren says, this only becomes very hazardous when saturated fats are eaten in combination with grains, beans, dairy, high-sugar foods or other foods that tend to increase inflammation. Cordain says the combination of saturated fats and inflammatory foods such as grains is a deadly formula for a heart attack."
I think Dr. Cordain is right on. What do you think?
Is it just me or is this not anything new? I guess I don't know enough about Cordain, he was previously anti-saturated fat and now not so much? The whole "eat fat, don't eat grains/sugar/etc" isn't new at all though.
Sounds good to me - from what I have been able to learn, it is the underlying inflammation in the artery walls, rather than the excess cholesterol that is the root cause of atherosclerosis. Cut out the grains, etc and the sat fat is not an issue (if it even increases cholesterol in the first place, which isn't certain anyways).
A joyful heart is good medicine
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot
Mmmmm. Real food is good.
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I guess he's been reading the Perfect Health Diet?
Calm the f**k down.
Right. The info is not new. Cordain's stance is new.
It's interesting that this particular info about oxidized cholesterol is not voiced more often. I read about oxidized cholesterol years ago in Nina Planck's Real Food, but it was barely covered. I have made the personal commitment not to eat anything with skim milk powder or powdered eggs in them because of it, but how many new people to the PB or Paleo hear about it? All the new folks hear is eat lots and lots of healthy saturated fat. Even good fat that has been industrialized is awful. Specifically: Oxidized (powdered) Cholesterol.
Get on my Level