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Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease

Jean-Michel Lecerf
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00194.x 273-283 First published online: 1 May 2009

Abstract

Fatty acids have been classified into “good” or “bad” groups according to their degree of unsaturation or whether they are “animal fat” or “vegetable fat”. Today, it appears that the effects of fatty acids are complex and vary greatly according to the dose and the nature of the molecule. Monounsaturated fatty acids are still considered as having a “neutral” status, but any benefits may be related to the chemical environment of the source food or the associated overall food pattern. Controversy surrounds omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, because even though they lower LDL cholesterol levels, excessive intakes do not appear to be correlated with cardiovascular benefit. The omega-3 fatty acids are known to exert cardiovascular protective effects. Dairy fat and its cardiovascular impact are being evaluated. This review examines the existing literature on the relationships between the different fatty acids and cardiovascular disease.

  • cardiovascular risk
  • dairy fat
  • saturated fatty acids
  • unsaturated fatty acids
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