So who’s got it right?  Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist at Croydon University Hospital published an article in the BMJ last October (20013)arguing that the evidence shows that reducing saturated fat intake “has paradoxically increased our cardiovascular risks”.

This, he says, has led to over-medication with statins. “Adopting a Mediterranean diet after a heart attack is almost three times as  powerful in reducing mortality as taking a statin…” In this interview, we have a very confident dietician saying that he’s wrong – no dealing with the arguments, just a restatement of the received wisdom.  The Medical Director of the BHF is less categorical…

studies on the link between diet and disease frequently produce conflicting results.

Unlike drug trials, it is difficult to carry out a controlled, randomised study, he says.

“However, people with highest cholesterol levels are at highest risk of a heart attack and it’s also clear that lowering cholesterol, by whatever means, lowers risk.”

But the evidence doesn’t seem to bear out the relationship between high cholesterol and a heart attack… That’s Dr Mahotra’s point, and no-one is giving a factual response to it.

By the way, do arteries really get full of white fatty sludge as another BBC article suggests?  that doesn’t seem to me to be in the least what atheroscleroma is…

Atherosclerosis is the most common type of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, and caused by plaque building up in the vessel. Over time the plaque causes thickening of the walls of the artery. Stiffness and a loss of elasticity also result.