Meta-analysis of RCTs finds that increasing consumption of polyunsaturated fat as a replacement for saturated fat reduces the risk of coronary heart disease
- School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
- Correspondence to Lee Hooper
School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK;
Saturated fat consumption tends to increase circulation of low-density lipoprotein which in turn increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Debate continues on how to replace the energy lost in reducing saturated fat – should we replace this energy with carbohydrate, protein or fat, and if fat, what type? Mozaffarian and colleagues aimed to address this question by systematically reviewing the effects on myocardial infarction and coronary death of partly replacing saturated fat intake by ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), including randomised controlled trials that continued for at least 12 months.
Limits of the methodology
This systematic review is a useful and thoughtful attempt to address this important question, and its methods are generally highly appropriate. The exception is the searching for, and inclusion of, appropriate trials. The mainstay of a systematic review is to find and assess all relevant studies, often …