Seminars, Soldiers and Coronary Heart Disease Risk – A Mixed Bag Today

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

I know my blogging has been quite spotty lately, but I promise it is not going anywhere! Also a quick reminder that Mike Robertson is holding theĀ 2010 Midwest Performance Enhancement Seminar. It is an all-day affair and includes the likes of: Brian Grasso, Lee Taft, MR himself, Pat Rigsby, Bill Hartman, and Brett Jones.

If you sign up before June 24th you get an incredible early bird special of only $149! Anytime after and the rate goes up to $199. So if you want to save $50 and see an amazing lineup sure to blow your mind, check out theĀ 2010 Midwest Performance Enhancement Seminar.

To all of you from Maine, check out these articles in the Portland Press Herald by Bill Nemitz. He is a reporter following the Maine National Guard’s Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Mountain Infantry in Afghanistan. The best man at my wedding, my lifelong best friend, is a Staff Sergeant serving in that hell hole, so if you want to follow their daily lives and missions check it out.

In actual nutrition oriented news, I am currently taking an online class about Nutrition and Aging for my Master’s degree. I was reading over the textbook about the fat requirements for the elderly population and came across some information that bemused and angered me.

The book mentions standard fare like 10-30% of the calories of the elderly should be from fat, and dietary cholesterol is recommended to be 300mg/day or less. The book then goes on to mention a 5 year study of 4066 men and women at least 71 years of age. Elevated total cholesterol was associated with a similar pattern of death as seen in younger adults.

At first glance this seems to follow traditional medical dogma, but when adjustments for age, preexisting cardiovascular disease, risk factors, and general health status were made the subject group with the lowest total cholesterol, less than 160mg/dL, “had the highest incidence of preexisting cardiovascular disease, the highest risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the highest indices of poor health, and the highest crude coronary heart disease mortality.” This statement is then immediately followed by the comment “it appears that elevated total cholesterol levels remain a risk factor for death from coronary artery disease in elderly persons.” What?!

They just quoted a study in which the people with the lowest total cholesterol had by far the greatest health issues, and they follow that up with commentary that high total cholesterol is the risk factor? How about low total cholesterol being a risk factor? How do these comments follow the facts? It is mind boggling.

The next paragraph lays out even more data about why fat intake and total cholesterol are not the danger they are made out to be. They mention a study in which a decrease in dietary fat intake was associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, as well as low cholesterol levels being associated with short-term mortality after an ischemic stroke. Also in a 20 year follow up to the Framingham Heart Study when saturated and monounsaturated fat intake, but not polyunsaturated fat intake, was increased the risk of ischemic stroke decreased.

Again these points are followed with the advice that one approach to reducing risk of coronary heart disease in older adults is to reduce intake of saturated fat and simultaneously increase polyunsaturated fat! This completely contradicts what that the 20 year follow up showed!

I just fail to see how they can mention that data and then make recommendations to the contrary, and people are totally ok with it. When will people let go of the dogma and open their eyes and realize that their is much much more to cardiovascular disease risk than total cholesterol! It may be a player, but it is far from the main one and we need to focus our attention on the actual problems, not the alleged ones that haven’t panned out in 30+ years of research and recommendations.

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Posted on June 21st, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment

  1. Andrew Says:

    Hey Brian, if you thought that was bad, don’t look at the latest dietary guidelines. Saturated fat intake should be reduced from 10% down to 7%! Do these people realize that saturated fat is nourishing for among other things, a functioning brain?

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