Posted on 06/02/2013

Healthy Margarine's Come Under Fire

Healthy Margarine's Come Under Fire

Healthy Margarine May Pose Health Risk

A recent study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that those who followed health advice and ate various omega-6 polyunsaturated fats had higher death rates than those who consumed animal fats. The research regarding polyunsaturated fats, which are used in ‘healthy’ margarine's and spreads as an alternative to butter, has prompted swift comments from the media over its contradictions to established health guidelines.

Although the research seems alarming, experts from The Science Media Center have issued a statement stating that the research “does not alter our understanding of the possible relationship between diet and cardiovascular risk” and that “the claims in the paper are not new or at odds with existing evidence”.

What is the danger of Margarine?

The danger with this research is that it can and has been over-interpreted. It only focused on one omega-6 polyunsaturated fat, not all of them and the results taken were from a very specific group – middle aged men who had suffered from heart attacks.

The study showed that not all polyunsaturated fatty acids, a key part of Margarine, may be good for the heart. However Safflower oil used in this study is rarely used in the UK and British consumers have been urged not to panic.

While the study was a randomized controlled trial, the dietary data collected doesn’t contain enough information to rule out the fact that other nutrients within Margarine could have caused the effect so indeed has its limitations.

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