“But besides real diseases we are subject to many that are only imaginary, for which the physicians have invented imaginary cures; these have then several names, and so have the drugs that are proper for them.”
—Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
Time for truth
As one scientific study after another has shown, people can gorge on animal fat for many years and still keep their blood cholesterol low. What we have learned also is that atherosclerosis and heart attacks may occur whether one’s food is meager or fat, and most surprisingly, whether cholesterol is high or low. Given these facts, is there any reason to think that lowering blood cholesterol with diet or medicine can prevent heart attacks?
Based on what I have presented so far, the answer is no. In fairness, however, it still may be possible that high-fat food contains something other than cholesterol and saturated fatty acids that might be dangerous to the heart, or that high blood cholesterol slows the coronary circulation in some way other than by stimulating atherosclerosis. It might just be possible to reach the correct conclusion from the wrong premises.
The diet-heart idea itself is invalid, as I have already demonstrated in several ways. But the best way to know for sure if fat food and a high cholesterol level are dangerous is to use human beings as guinea pigs, to see if coronary heart disease can be induced by feeding these people animal fat or by elevating their blood cholesterol, or to see if heart attacks can be prevented by feeding the experimental subjects a low-fat diet or by lowering their blood cholesterol.
The idea to raise blood cholesterol during several years by dietary means is stillborn no matter how interesting it seems. The ethical committees that must approve all experiments on living creatures should certainly condemn the idea. Fortunately the Masais and other populations already have performed the experiment for us with well-known result.
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