On November 21, 2014, Ohio State published results of research that claimed doubling or tripling saturated fat intake of subjects did not increase saturated fat in the blood nor adversely affect biomarkers of disease. They achieved this result using subjects that already had metabolic syndrome. Prior research (not done by them) has shown those already eating a lot of fat and animal protein often do NOT show even worse changes in their biomarker when they eat EVEN MORE. It's just like a full glass of water. You can add more and more water to it -- but once you get to a certain point (the top of the glass) the water level won't go any higher. The subjects in this study had such fatty, high cholesterol diets, that more fat/ animal foods barely changed most biomarkers. (But TONS of previous research has suggested that you will see big changes AFTER the fat is reduced to 10-15%. -- but even more importantly previous research doesn't just show improvement in biomarkers -- but actual signficant decreases in mortality and morbidity years down the road too -- which is even more important then biomarkers -- which are really only attempts to predict morbidity.) In this case though -- the researches focussed upon one particular biomarker (which I had never seen mentioned in other research) which apparently does decrease when carbs are reduced -- even though fat remains high. That was how they were able to suggest with straight faces that a diet high in animal protein and fat, but devoid of fiber-rich unprocessed carbohydrates might actually be beneficial.
I can imagine a meeting that preceded this study, (like some I really DID see when I worked for Merck and Co Inc. -- and this was LONG before the whole Vioxx Fiasco!) where they discussed how to set up the study design so that it would likely yield results useful for marketing.
You can read the actual study for yourself here http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0113605
Notice that their diet before the study began was an egregiously fatty diet, containing MORE fat and LESS carbs then average in America. No suprise then that their biomarkers were worse then what is average in America. This alone, does not support the author’s view that carbs not fat are the bigger cause of poor health. While a few biomarkers did improve, others did not (My diabetes article in a previous Feast Lawrence Newsletter explained this aspect too --contact me if you would like me to email that back issue to you -- or just wait, because I will probably rewrite it as a blog post here coming up soon too.) Notice that they varied subject’s diets,but NEVER had them eat a truly low fat, whole-foods plant based diet for comparison. They probably knew this would have eclipsed what they wanted to show, since volumes of published data suggest participants would have reacted differently to changing carb levels if they had been low-fat WFPB first. As I said earlier -- this is a tried and true tactic used to grab headlines almost always what has happened when the research has been funded by meat, dairy and egg interests.
Yes,that is who funded this study — along with the Atkin’s Foundation.