Health Impact News Editor Comments: It is widely known that Ancel Keys was the researcher from the University of Minnesota credited with inventing the lipid theory of heart disease, which led to the highly political McGovern Report in the 1970s which recommended a low fat diet to supposedly reduce heart disease. Here is some actual film footage of the McGovern Report hearing in Congress:
The belief in the lipid theory of heart disease led to a windfall for pharmaceutical companies which today earn billions of dollars on statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels. Since science does not actually back up the lipid theory of heart disease, and since we now have decades of experience showing that limiting saturated fat from our diet and using cholesterol lowering drugs does not improve people’s health or improve their risk for heart disease, even those in the mainstream media are beginning to ask tough questions. Below is one such article from Paul John Scott of the Minnesota Star Tribune.
The University of Minnesota and heart disease: Missed a beat
Researchers don’t always get it right, and Ancel Keys is a case in point.
We told the world that heart disease is caused by elevated cholesterol and that reducing saturated fat in the diet reduces this risk. That led the country to embrace the lowering of cholesterol with medications. All of those assumptions have proven themselves to be either overstated, oversimplified or wrong, and that has led us astray. Would it be too much for the leading cardiologists in our community to admit as much?
“It was also nearly 60 years ago,” as Dr. Daniel J. Garry extolled on these pages (“Treating heart disease at the U: A story of steady innovations ,” April 14), “that University of Minnesota scientists — Dr. Ancel Keys along with Drs. Francisco Grande and Joseph Anderson — defined the relationship between dietary fat and serum cholesterol, which linked cholesterol to heart disease.”
Garry went on to praise the creation of cholesterol-lowering drugs that stemmed from Keys’ work. Keys constructed his hypothesis after studying the diets and heart disease in countries across the globe. But his research left out nations with data that did not match the hypothesis, and even within the data he published, populations existed in which diet and heart disease were wildly out of synch with his model.
By 1970, an English researcher named John Yudkin would argue that sugar in the diet was the cause of heart disease in wealthy nations, but Keys, sensing that his theory was suddenly vulnerable to reconsideration, aggressively led the charge to have that research discredited.
Read the Full Article here: http://www.startribune.com/opinion/120139854.html