Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Letter to the Editor

I just got a letter to the editor published in the journal Obesity. It's a comment on an article published in October titled "Efficiency of Intermittent Exercise on Adiposity and Fatty Liver in Rats Fed With High-fat Diet."

In the study, they placed rats on a diet composed of "commercial rat chow plus peanuts, milk chocolate, and sweet biscuit in a proportion of 3:2:2:1," and then proceeded to simply call it a "high-fat diet" in the title and text body, with no reference to its actual composition outside the methods section. We can't tolerate this kind of fudging if we want real answers from nutrition science. Rats eating the "high-fat diet" developed abdominal obesity, fatty liver and hyperphagia, but this was attenuated by exercise.

As I like to say, the problem isn't usually in the data, it's in the interpretation of the data. The result is interesting and highly relevant. But you can't use terminology that tars and feathers all fat when your diet was in fact high in linoleic acid (omega-6), low in omega-3 and high in sugar and refined grains. Especially when butter and coconut oil don't cause the same pathology. I pointed out in the letter that we need to be more precise about how we define "high-fat diets". I also pointed out that the study is highly relevant to the modern U.S., because it supports the hypothesis that a junk food diet high in linoleic acid and sugar causes metabolic disturbances and fatty liver, and exercise may be protective.


  1. 3 Studies SHOW How Coconut Oil Kills Waist Fat.

    This means that you actually burn fat by consuming coconut fats (in addition to coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

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