Butter, Margarine & Fat Intake
An American study of 46 families (92 parents and 134 natural children aged six years and over) compared the effect on plasma lipids of using polyunsaturated margarine or butter.
The average reduction in LDL was 11% in adults and 98% in children. But because of genetic variations, one would expect some people to be little affected or even not at all and others to have a substantial effect. HDL levels did not change.
The American Heart Association is still thoroughly wedded to the lower cholesterol at all costs viewpoint. But there is much more to atherosclerosis than elevated LDL cholesterol. Genetics very obviously play a major role in deciding whether a family will have a substantial benefit from a reduction in saturates. We should also spend more time defining those who are likely to benefit and encouraging them to reduce all sources of saturates together and make other dietary changes. Many of the same people will benefit by a reduction in obesity risk.
Source: Denke MA, Adams-Huet B, Nguyen AT. JAMA 2000; 284 (21): 2740-7