Evaluation of Chowdhury Meta-Analysis on the
Association of Fatty Acids with Coronary Risk, Part 2
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."1
April 29, 2014
This is part 2 of my review of the Chowdhury meta-analysis study  that was published online at the Annals of Internal Medicine on March 18, 2014. The study effectively said that the current guidelines on saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake (<10% of calories from SFA) were not justified by the evidence and should be reconsidered. That led Mark Bittman, the NY Times Magazine's lead food columnist to write, Butter is Back, and said, "Julia Child, goddess of fat, is beaming somewhere. Butter is back, and when you're looking for a few chunks of pork for a stew, you can resume searching for the best pieces — the ones with the most fat."
From my own extensive reading of the medical/nutritional research, I doubted Chowdhury's conclusion, and thus was compelled to do an in-depth review. And, the only way to do this is to read and analyze all 20 of the SFA intake studies that were used in the Chowdhury meta-analysis. Part 1 of my review, published in last month's McDougall Newsletter, looked at just 2 of the 20 studies - one that showed the most benefit to higher intakes of SFA (MALMO) and one that showed the most harm (Oxford Vegetarian). My analysis of MALMO study described the major flaws, which were pointed out by the authors themselves in the paper that Chowdhury referenced. And, the conclusions in the paper are quite different than what Chowdhury's analysis indicated.