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Sigma Nutrition Radio

Mar 12, 2024


About This Episode:

The question of whether dietary fat quality causally affects atherosclerosis risk has been a subject of extensive research and debate within the field of nutrition and cardiovascular health.

Atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque in arteries, is a key factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. Traditionally, dietary fat has been implicated in contributing to atherosclerosis, with a focus on reducing overall fat intake. However, recent studies have shifted the focus towards the quality of dietary fats rather than their quantity.

Not all fats are created equal, and researchers are now paying closer attention to the types of fats consumed in the diet. Saturated fats, commonly found in animal products and some tropical oils, have long been associated with increased cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis. On the other hand, unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts, and fish, have been linked to potential cardiovascular benefits. Research suggests that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats may have a positive impact on blood lipid profiles and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

Additionally, genetic factors and individual responses to different fats may play a role in how dietary fats impact atherosclerosis risk.

In this episode, Dr. Jacob Christensen discusses the research in this area and some conclusions about whether we can say dietary fat quality causally increases atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk. This includes looking at the relationship between low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles and ASCVD, the link between dietary fat quality and LDL particles, and then finally the relationship between dietary fat quality, LDL particles, and ASCVD.

About the Guest:

Jacob J. Christensen is a clinical dietitian and researcher at University of Oslo. His research interests include cardiovascular diseases, lipid metabolism, nutrition, genomics and data science.