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IFNH Lunchtime Seminar – Dietary saturated fatty acids and cardiometabolic risk

The Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) are pleased to announce their next Lunchtime Seminar “Dietary saturated fatty acids and cardiometabolic risk“ presented by Dr Jean-Michel Lecerf, Service Nutrition & Activité Physique Centre Prévention Santé Longévité Institut Pasteur de Lille. The seminar will take place Friday 8th April at 13.00 – 14.00 via Microsoft Teams.

If you would like to join us please click here to join the meeting

Saturated fatty acids are still considered as bad for health. This is coming from i) their effect on LDL cholesterol and ii) the ecological study of the “Seven countries”. Due to the relationship between high plasma cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and coronary heart disease, a shortcut is done with a link between saturated fatty acids and cardiovascular risk, whereas no causality can be drawn from that. Moreover, ecological studies are not quite reliable.

In the 1980s and 1990s years, many interventional trials have tried to demonstrate the efficacy of a strong decrease of dietary saturated fatty acids on coronary heart disease in secondary prevention. But no clear effect and even an impairment of coronary events and deaths were shown.

In 2010s, a first meta-analysis of all the prospective studies on the role of dietary saturated fatty acids on cardiovascular disease has shown that there is no relationship between the two. Other meta-analysis has confirmed these data. It is well known that the decrease of fat or saturated fats induces a small decrease of LDL cholesterol, but also a decrease of HDL cholesterol, an increase of triglycerides and the apparition of small dense and atherogenic LDL particles, due to the increase of carbohydrates. So epidemiological studies have shown that the substitution of saturated fatty acids by carbohydrates is associated with no improvement of the cardiovascular risk.

Moreover, all saturated fatty acids have not the same effect. Stearic acid is not considered as atherogenic because it may be changed into oleic acid.

But the main fact is the role of the matrix. So, the same amount of saturated fatty acids coming from dairy products is associated with less cardiovascular disease whereas those coming from meat products are associated with more. Other studies have totally confirmed that dairy products are not associated with cardiovascular disease, and even with a decrease of type 2 diabetes occurrence, particularly full fermented dairy products. The role of calcium, probiotic and bioactive peptides is thought.

So currently, a normal intake of dietary saturated fatty acids must not be considered as bad.



8 April 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health