Historical Events

Copy Link

Institute for Metabolic Research discovers that replacing animal fats with vegetable fats dramatically lowers total cholesterol.

March 1, 1953


Effect upon Serum Cholesterol and Phospholipids of Diets Containing Large Amounts of Vegetable Fat


"At the Institute for Metabolic Research in Oakland, California, for instance, researchers first discovered in 1952 that replacing animal fats with vegetable fats would dramatically lower total cholesterol."

A later study in a patient maintained for a prolonged period of time on diets in which vegetable and animal fat were ‘alternated in calorically equivalent amounts for specific periods, revealed findings comparable with the preceding, that is, a fall in cholesterol and phospholipids on the vegetable fat intake, and a rise to average levels on formula diets in which the fat was entirely of animal origin. During a portion of this study the fat was derived entirely from egg yolk in an amount equivalent to 36 egg yolks daily. Normal hut not supernormal levels of cholesterol occurred during the egg yolk feeding.

SUMMARY The use of formula diets containing large amounts of vegetable fat has resulted consistently in a major fall in serum cholesterol and in phospholipids. Whatever the meaning of this observation, it is apparent that high dietary fat per se does not result in elevation of serum cholesterol.