Who’s Behind the Claim That Coconut Oil Is Pure Poison? – Dr Mercola
A lot of nutritional science has been published since the early ’70s, yet AHA chooses to hold on to outdated science. The reason why is anyone’s guess. One of the studies included in the AHA’s review was the Oslo Diet-Heart Study,12 published in 1970.
In this study, 412 patients who’d had a heart attack or were at high risk of heart disease were randomized into two groups: One group got a low-saturated fat, high-PUFA diet along with ongoing, long-term “instruction and supervision” while the other group ate whatever they wanted and received no nutritional counseling whatsoever. As explained by Taubes:13
“This is technically called performance bias and it’s the equivalent of doing an unblinded drug trial without a placebo. It is literally an uncontrolled trial, despite the randomization.
([A]ll the physicians involved also knew whether their patients were assigned to the intervention group or the control, which makes investigator bias all that much more likely.) We would never accept such a trial as a valid test of a drug. Why do it for diet? Well, maybe because it can be used to support our preconceptions.”
Taubes goes on to state that he was so curious about this Oslo study he bought a monograph published by the original author. In it, the author describes in more detail how he went about conducting his trial.
Interestingly, this monograph reveals that the sugar consumption in the treatment group was only about 50 grams a day — an amount Taubes estimates may be about half the per capita consumption in Norway at that time, based on extrapolated data.14
“In this trial, the variable that’s supposed to be different is the [saturated fat]/PUFA ratio, but the performance bias introduces another one. One group gets continuous counseling to eat healthy, one group doesn’t. Now how can that continuous counseling influence health status?
One way is that apparently, the group that got it decided to eat a hell of lot less sugar. This unintended consequence now gives another possible explanation for why these folks had so many fewer heart attacks.
I don’t know if this is true. The point is neither did Leren. And neither do our AHA authorities,” Taubes writes. “All of the four studies used to support the 30 percent number had significant flaws, often this very same performance bias. Reason to reject them.”
What’s more, the AHA actually makes false claims when specifying coconut oil as a source of dangerous saturated fat since none of the four studies they included in their analysis involved coconut oil. This was brought up last year by Dr. Cate Shanahan,15 a family physician and author of “Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food.”
In an email to me, she pointed out that “This message from the AHA is not only false, it is dangerous.” While it’s true that most early studies on coconut oil had less than favorable results, it’s important to recognize that those studies were done using partially hydrogenated coconut oil, not unrefined virgin coconut oil.16
via Dr Mercola Who’s Behind the Claim That Coconut Oil Is Pure Poison?