Animal models of atherosclerosis: LDL

(Part 5 of 12 in series, Stephan Guyenet's "Whole Health Source")

The bottom line is that experimental models of atherosclerosis appear to rely on overloading herbivorous species with dietary cholesterol that they are not equipped to clear. SFA does exacerbate the increase in LDL caused by cholesterol overload. But in the absence of excess cholesterol, it does not necessarily raise LDL even in species ill-equipped to digest these types of fats. Dietary cholesterol has a modest effect on LDL cholesterol in humans, and it has even less effect on LDL particle number, a more important measure. So there may not be a cholesterol overload for saturated fat to exacerbate in humans.

~ Stephan Guyenet from,

In the context of actual amounts that you can actually consume (animal studies feed cholesterol to herbivores as if you eat 20+ eggs EVERY day) there is no evidence (not in animal studies and certainly not in human studeis) that cholesterol and saturated fat cause atherosclerosis. If you think eating cholesterol or saturated fat is bad, I hope you’ll investigate where you obtained that knowledge, and look into the factual basis of that knowledge. If you’re avoiding cholesterol and saturated fat, what are you replacing it with?


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