The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics, a steadily growing group of scientists, physicians, other academicians and science writers from various countries are questioning the common dogma that dietary saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. Not only is there no proof to support this hypothesis, says spokesman Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, Lund, Sweden, but the available scientific evidence clearly contradicts this claim.
Under any circumstances it is abundantly clear that existing dietary recommendations for heart disease have failed miserably and should be carefully reexamined in the light of these developments, if not consequences. However, instead of an objective investigation and analysis, there have only been desperate but futile attempts to defend reputations and save face. Vicious attacks have been directed towards Dr. Robert Atkins, a cardiologist who for decades has recommended a diet that goes counter to the official guidelines. The main objection has been that his diet has not been proven in scientific trials. By using this argument his opponents have inadvertently exposed the weakness of their own case.
Most revealing, said Ravnskov, is the accumulated evidence from nine dietary trials, presented by a group of British researchers. Their analysis showed that not a single life has been saved by dietary changes that even went far beyond the official recommendations. [British Medical Journal March 31, 2001]
Dr. Walter Willet, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, is the spokesman for the ongoing longest-running, most comprehensive diet and health study ever performed that involves nearly 300,000 subjects. As he recently noted, data from this study clearly contradict the low-fat-is-good-health message, and "the idea that all fat is bad for you; the exclusive focus on adverse effects of fat may have contributed to the obesity epidemic.''
The proponents of the cholesterol campaign have never told the public about the huge weight of contradictory evidence. Instead, the mantras about "dangerous" dietary animal fat and cholesterol continue. For instance, unaffected by available evidence, Dr. Robert O. Bonow, president of the American Heart Association, stated in a recent press release protesting Gary Taubes' New York Times article that "There is strong scientific evidence that a diet high in saturated-fat increases the risk of heart disease and stroke". For obvious reasons, he failed to provide references to support this statement in the press release.