It has long been accepted that the main cause of heart disease is the build up of cholesterol which is caused by a diet high in saturated fat. More recent research has shown that blood sugar (glucose) is also a CHD risk factor for women. However, the latest research from the Cambridge University which was published in Lancet has shown that there is also a link between blood fat (triglycerides).
Triglycerides are one of the 3 types of fat, cholesterol and phospholipids being the other two. In the recent study by Cambridge the data from 350,000 people was gathered from over 100 previous studies. This data indicated a positive correlation between increased levels of blood fat and increased incidence of coronary heart disease.
It is thought that this relationship between blood fat and heart disease will not affect everyone though. Some people have a variation in a gene which causes the liver to increase production of triglycerides. These people are the ones that have an 18% higher chance of developing heart disease.
Dr Nadeem Sarwar, who led the research team, is convinced that there is a definite relationship between increased blood fat and CHD, however, more research is required. The current analysis is from previous studies, to be sure a new specific study needs to be carried out.
What this research does emphasise once again is the importance of following a healthy diet for overall health and longevity. Cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose are all connected with increasing the likelihood of developing heart disease. All of these fats and sugars are dependant on a diet high in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates. If you follow a low GI diet that also limits red meat, especially fatty meats, then you will immediately see improvements in health. Such a diet should also aid weight loss too, so a healthy diet is a win win solution.
- Triglyceride-mediated pathways and coronary disease: collaborative analysis of 101 studies The Lancet, Volume 375, Issue 9726, Pages 1634-1639
- Nadeem Sarwar, University Lecturer in Cardiovascular Epidemiology – Contact details and research background