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Chewing or Eschewing the Fat

You Docs, Oz & Roizen

It never ceases to amaze me how certain voices in the medical community attain status as experts on all things involving diet, merely by trumpeting the long recognized axioms of the medical establishment. I refer specifically to – you guessed it – The You Docs, Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen.

It’s long been the position of mainstream medicine that saturated fat is unhealthy. This myth has persisted despite the countervailing insistence by a plethora of highly credentialed physicians and researchers who have long propounded an alternative position. Saturated fat, they say, is critical to good health.

The You Docs’ latest effort at reinforcing the anti-saturated-fat platform draws from a study at Louisiana State University which purportedly showed that a diet high in saturated fat “affects your brain, and that leads to anxiety, memory problems and other not-so-great changes in behavior.”

A measly mice study

So these researchers must have gathered a mountain of evidence of such effects on people, right? Well … not quite. The You docs’ proclamation about these awful conditions wasn’t based on any human tests whatever. They came to their conclusions about the harmful impact of saturated fat on humans by extrapolating its supposedly deleterious effect on mice. How many mice? They don’t say, nor do they give many other details of this study. All they say is that when gut bacteria from mice on a high-saturated-fat diet were transplanted into thin mice on a low-fat diet, the thin mice developed brain inflammation and bad changes in behavior. So, based on this one apparently small animal study (if it were large, the docs obviously would have made a big point about that), these doctors, in whom a great many people entrust their health, made the sweeping declaration that saturated fat screws up our brains.

Unless I missed it, no study has ever shown such results with humans. On the other hand, two meta analyses, in 2010 and 2014, of huge numbers of studies have shown that high consumers of saturated fat fared no worse than low consumers. No evidence of these studies, involving about a million people from many countries, emerged showing any adverse neurological effects from high consumption of saturated fat.

Wrong kind

From the so-called study, The You Docs concluded, “A moderate amount of fat is essential for your good health, but it has to be the right kind: mono- and polyunsaturated, and the odd fatty omega acid 3 and 9.”

Mary Enig, Ph.D., and Sally Fallon

Polyunsaturated fats come mainly from vegetable oils. The late Mary Enig, Ph.D., a renowned lipid (fats) biochemist, and medical journalist Sally Fallon declared that “excess consumption of polyunsaturated oils has been shown to contribute to a large number of disease conditions,” which they listed. On the other hand, “The much-maligned saturated fats – which Americans are trying to avoid – are not the cause of our modern diseases. In fact, they play many important roles in the body chemistry.”

  1. They make up half of the cell membranes and give the cells “necessary stiffness and integrity.”

  2. At least 50 percent of the dietary fats should be saturated “for calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure,” thus maintaining the health of our bones.

  3. They lower Lp(a), a substance in the blood that indicates proneness to heart disease.

  4. They enhance the immune system.

  5. They facilitate utilization of essential fatty acids.

  6. The heart muscle draws on the reserve of saturated fat around it in stress situations.

  7. The antimicrobial properties of saturated fatty acids protect against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.

That last effect of saturated fats directly contradicts The You Docs’ assertion that a high-saturated-fat diet “throws your gut bacteria way off balance and puts you at risk for bodywide inflammation. That means you’re in for heart and immune system problems, and brain inflammation that can affect your behavior and emotional well-being.”

Remember: This sweeping assessment is based on a single, unremarkable study using mice.

A further contradiction of The You Docs’ position is this from the website Paleo.cap: “Since vegetable seed oils, for which most are very high in Omega-6 PUFA (polyunsaturated fat), are a huge part of our food system right now, most people consume way too much omega-6 fat and way too little Omega-3 fat to be in a good balance.” This excess is “a huge insult to the body and causes many problems in the long term.”


Dr. David Brownstein

While the Docs say saturated fat is harmful to the brain, here’s what Dr. David Brownstein, head of the Center for Holistic Medicine and an international lecturer to physicians, says: “Saturated fats give our cells the strength to maintain structure and, since they predominate in our brains, they are especially crucial for a baby’s brain development.”

“Saturated fats,” Brownstein says, “have received a bad rap from physicians and dietitians as well as the media. In fact, we cannot live without saturated fats. My experience has shown that most people do not ingest adequate amounts of them.” Further, he says, “Optimal health is not possible without adequate amounts of saturated fats in our bodies.”

Mainstream medical malarkey

Brownstein takes a dim view of the positions on fat held by mainstream medicine. “Increased vegetable oil consumption has been a large part of a low-fat propaganda campaign promoted by the various establishment medical powers like the AMA over the last 35 years. They have convinced the vast majority of us that most fats are bad for us and that the healthiest diets are the diets that promote low-fat foods. This misinformation has been a disaster for our health. Eating primarily a low-fat diet is a recipe for becoming deficient in fat-soluble vitamins, as well as proteins and minerals. In order to digest and absorb protein in the diet, we need fat.

“One of the first pieces of advice I give to my patients is to avoid low-fat food items. If there is a choice between a reduced-fat item and a regular-fat item, choose the regular-fat item.”

Take that, You Docs!

#MaryEnig #gutbacteria #DrMichaelRoisen #DrDavidBrownstein #SallyFallon #saturatedfat #protein #vegetableoils #calcium #TheYouDocs #polyunsaturatedfat #brain #Lpa #DrMehmetOz #LouisianaStateUniversity

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