#504: Vegetable Oil vs. Saturated Fat – Analysis of the LA Veterans Study

In Podcasts by Danny Lennon2 Comments

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Co-Hosts for this Episode
  3. Related Resources
  4. Premium Content
    • Detailed Study Notes
    • Transcript


In 1959 a landmark clinical trial, often referred to as the LA Veterans Study, began with the aim to investigate the effects of replacing dietary saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, on the progression of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular outcomes.

This was an eight-year clinical trial in 846 domiciled male veterans in the US. The diets between the control and experimental groups differed by saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat (particularly linoleic acid) content, but were similar in calories and total dietary fat.

The findings of the study suggested that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat was beneficial for reducing heart disease risk. However, the study also reported an unexpected increase in non-cardiac mortality in the intervention group, which raised concerns.

In this episode, we discuss why the LA Veterans Study was such a seminal trial and what we can learn from it.

Co-hosts for this Episode

Dr. Alan Flanagan has a PhD in nutrition from the University of Surrey, where his doctoral research focused on circadian rhythms, feeding, and chrononutrition.

This work was based on human intervention trials. He also has a Masters in Nutritional Medicine from the same institution.

Dr. Flanagan is a regular co-host of Sigma Nutrition Radio. He also produces written content for Sigma Nutrition, as part of his role as Research Communication Officer.

Danny Lennon has a master’s degree (MSc.) in Nutritional Sciences from University College Cork, and he is the founder of Sigma Nutrition.

Danny is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Sports Nutrition Association, the global regulatory body responsible for the standardisation of best practice in the sports nutrition profession.

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  1. Hi Guys, just a quick note. There were more smokers in the control group (11% vs17%) and more octogenarians (12 int vs 21 c) which makes the lower cancer incidence even more interesting, does it not? You mention the fall in cholesterol in the intervention group (18%) but don’t mention the 14% drop in the control group. It seems that in general there are so many things wrong with this paper, should it really still be discussed in support of anything?

  2. Sorry, a few other things I just bumped into:

    the control group had lower levels of omega-3 and vitamin E & higher levels of trans fats (Ramsden et al (2016) Re-evaluation of the traditional diet-heart…)

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