For approximately 70 years, the world has been conned into believing that Ancel Keys’ hypotheses were scientific fact. After a relentless crusade starting in the 1940s, Keys established his twin hypotheses relating to the relationship between diet, cholesterol, and coronary heart disease as the globally dominant nutritional paradigm which still stands to this day. In Part 2 of Professor Noakes’ ‘Ancel Keys’ Cholesterol Con’ series, Noakes details how scientific events starting in 1910 laid the groundwork upon which Keys ‘produced the greatest scam in the history of modern medicine”. – Nadya Swart
Ancel Keys’ Cholesterol Con Part 2.
The sequence of events that produced the greatest scam in the history of modern medicine.
Table 1 describes the sequence of 70 events that I will argue were critical in directing an unquestioning global acceptance of Keys’ unproven hypotheses and then its subsequent disproof. In that table I simply outline each event in its barest detail. In the coming sequence of columns I expose the meaning of each scientific event and how the most damaging of the scientific findings were skillfully managed by a core of like-thinking scientists to ensure that the real truth could not emerge.
The ideas and arguments I present are not original in that I am not their original source. Rather they have been covered in compelling detail in the four iconic books (1-4), and in a number of others that confine themselves to what has become known as the Cholesterol Scam or the Cholesterol Con (5-9). That list is not all-inclusive.
Re-reading Smith and Pinckney, Moore, Taubes and Teicholz’s books brings home to me just how brilliantly exceptional they are. If this series drives yet more to read any or all of those books, the series will have been successful. So my goal here is perhaps twofold. First to introduce and direct the diligent reader to the original sources of all this material. And second, to bring a comprehensive focus on the full nature of the ingenious scam to which we have all been exposed – at great cost. Included is my interpretation of the reasons why that scam has succeeded. So far. Perhaps my real hope is that by once more re-telling the story of how this scam unfolded over the past century, we may come a little closer to the day when the medical and nutrition professions will be forced to admit that, yes, they finally acknowledge what is now obvious.
That this has been the greatest scam in the history of modern medicine. Who knows? One day they might even apologise.
On the basis of all this information it is extremely difficult, in fact impossible, to make any credible case to support Keys’ Twin Hypotheses. In the following 11 columns I provide the details behind each of these 70 events before providing a final summary of exactly what this multi-billion dollar research effort, the goal of which was to provide support for Keys’ Twin Hypotheses, did actually reveal.
It’s finally time to expose this evidence more widely, but especially to the medical and nutrition/dietetics professions, so that in 2020 we can give humans the appropriate dietary advice that will return us all to a state of optimum metabolic health.
- Moore TJ. Heart Failure: A Critical Inquiry into American Medicine and the Revolution in Heart Care. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1989. [Also Moore TJ. The cholesterol myth. The Atlantic. 1989;264(September):37].
- Smith RL, Pinckney ER. The Cholesterol Conspiracy. Warren H Green Inc; St Louis MI, 1991.
- Taubes G. Good calories bad calories. Fats, carbs, and the controversial science of diet and health. Anchor Books, New York, NY. 2008.
- Teicholz N. The Big Fat Surprise. Why butter, meat and cheese belong in a heathy diet. Simon and Schuster, New York, NY. 2014.
- Ravnskov U. The Cholesterol Myths. Exposing the fallacy that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. New Trends Publishing, Washington, DC. 2000.
- Colpo A. The Great Cholesterol Con. LULU publishers, 2007.
- Kendrick M. The Great Cholesterol Con. The truth about what really causes heart disease and how to avoid it. John Blake, London, UK. 2007.
- Ravnskov U. Fat and cholesterol are good for you. GB Publishing, Sweden. 2009.
- Rosch PJ. Fat and cholesterol don’t cause heart attacks. And statins are not the solution. Columbia Publishing, UK. 2016.
- Keys A. Prediction and possible prevention of coronary disease. Am J Publ Health 1953;43:1399-1407.
- Page IH, Stare FJ, Corcoran AC, et al. Atherosclerosis and the fat content of the diet. Circulation 1957;16:163-178.
- Ahrens EH, Hirsch J, Insull W, et al. Dietary control of serum lipids in relation to atherosclerosis. JAMA 1957;164:1905-1911.
- Albrink MJ, Man EB. Serum triglycerides in coronary artery disease. Arch Intern Med 1959;103: 4-8.
- Central Committee for Medical and Community Program of the American Heart Association. Dietary Fat and Its Relation to Heart Attacks and Strokes. JAMA 1961;175:389-391.
- McGandy RB, Hegsted DM, Stare FJ. Dietary fats, carbohydrates and atherosclerotic vascular disease. NEJM 1967;277:186-192; (concluded) NEJM 1967;277:242-247
- Adeva-Andany MM, Martinez-Rodriquez J, Gonzalez-Lucan M et al. Insulin resistance is a cardiovascular risk factor in humans. Diab Metab Syndr:Clin Res Rev 2019;13:1449-1455.
- Anon. Toward Healthful Diets. Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC: 1980.
- Steinberg D. An interpretive history of the cholesterol controversy, part IV: The 1984 Coronary Primary Prevention Trial ends it – almost. J Lipid Res 2006;47:1-14.
- Kannel WB, Castelli WP, Gordon T. Cholesterol in the prediction of atherosclerotic disease: New perspectives based on the Framingham Study. Ann Intern Med 1979;90:85-91.
- Ramsden CE, Zamora D, Leelarthaepin B, et al. Use of dietary linoleic acid for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and death. Evaluation of recovered data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and updated meta-analysis. BMJ 2013 Feb 4;346:e8707.
- Ramsden CE, Zamora D, Majchrzak-Hong S, et al. Re-evaluation of the traditional diet-heart hypothesis: analysis of recovered data from Minnesota Coronary Experiment (1968-73). BMJ 2016;353:i1246.
- Grasgruber P, Sebera M, Hrazdira E, et al. Food consumption and the actual statistics of cardiovascular diseases: an epidemiological comparison of 42 European countries. Food Nutr Res 2016;60:394
- Dehghan M, Mente A, Zhang X, et al. Association of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 18 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study. Lancet 2017;390:2050-2062; Mente A, Dehghan M, Rangarajan S, et al. Association of dietary nutrients with blood lipids and blood pressure in 18 countries: a cross-sectional analysis from the PURE study. Lancet 2017;390:774-787; Miller V, Mente A, Dehghan M, et al. Fruit, vegetable, and legume intake, and cardiovascular disease and deaths in 18 countries (PURE): a prospective cohort study. Lancet 2017;390:2037-2049; Dehghan M, Mente A, Rangarajan S, et al. Association of dairy intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 21 countries from five countries (PURE): a prospective cohort study. Lancet 2018;392:2288-2297.
- Ioannidis JPA. We need more randomized trials in nutrition – preferably large, long-term, and with negative results. Am J Clin Nutr 2016;103:1385-1386.