Colquhoun, D.M., 2000. Food for prevention of coronary heart disease: Beyond the low fat, low cholesterol diet. Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr. 9(suppl):S86-90.
The single major cause of death throughout the world is coronary heart disease. Prevalence is stable or decreasing in North America, Australasia and most of Europe, while rapidly increasing in eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Atherosclerosis is the underlying pathology. This is one of the classic lifestyle diseases on the background of genetic susceptibility. Diet plays a key role in the initiation and progression of coronary heart disease. A low total fat diet is almost universally recommended throughout the world. However, the most successful secondary prevention diet trials have used modification of fat, rather than decrease in total fat per se. Successful diet trials suggest that diet modification is as effective as accepted drug therapy to prevent recurrent coronary events, and importantly is very cost effective. Marine lipid supplementation has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt to decrease total mortality and in particular sudden death in patients who have survived their first myocardial infarction. Large-scale diet intervention trials are indicated to improve the scientific basis for dietary recommendations to prevent initial and recurrent coronary heart disease.