The type of saturated fats we consume can put us at risk of a heart attack, according to a new study suggesting that eating plant-based proteins can decrease chances of the disease instead.
The study showed that people whose diets contain relatively little palmitic and stearic acid — saturated fats composed of 16 or more carbon atoms (longer-chain saturated fats) that are typically found in meats can affect our risk of a myocardial infarction or heart attack.
Moreover, individuals who eat more saturated fats with 14 or fewer carbon atoms (shorter-chain saturated fats) that are typically found in dairy products have lower risk of heart attacks.
“Our analysis of the diets of large groups of individuals in two countries over time shows that the type of saturated fats we consume could affect our cardiovascular heath,” explained lead author Ivonne Sluijs, postdoctoral student at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
For the study data from approximately 75,000 people were analysed by the team among which nearly 3,500 people experienced heart attack.
“We found that eating relatively little of the longer chained saturated fatty acids and consuming plant-based proteins instead was associated with a lowered risk. Substitution of those saturated fats with other energy sources such as carbohydrates did not affect the risk to develop myocardial infarction,” said Sluijs.
Although diets vary by nationality and other factors, the most frequently consumed saturated fat is palmitic acid, with 16 carbon atoms, followed by stearic acid, with 18 carbon atoms, both of which are found in meat products, as per the study published in the International Journal of Cardiology.
Shifts in fat intake should align with the recommended healthy dietary patterns, which emphasise limited intakes of red and processed meat and added sugars, lower salt intake, replacement of refined grains with whole grains, and higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, the team suggested.
No guarantee any Covid vaccine in development will work: WHO Chief
World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that the top health organisation has no guarantee whether any single Covid-19 vaccine now in development will work.
While addressing a virtual press conference, the WHO chief said: “We have no guarantee that any single vaccine now in development will work.”
“The more candidates we test, the higher the chance we will have of a safe and efficacious vaccine,” he added.
According to the WHO, almost 200 vaccines for Covid-19 are currently in clinical and pre-clinical testing.
“The history of vaccine development tells us that some will fail, and some will succeed,” Ghebreyesus said.
Also, the WHO, in collaboration with global vaccine alliance group Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), has launched a scheme COVAX.
The aim of the collaboration is to accelerate the development of Covid-19 vaccines and enable equitable access for every country in the world.
The COVAX Facility enables governments to spread the risk of vaccine development and ensure their populations can have early access to effective vaccines.
Even more importantly, the COVAX Facility is the mechanism that will enable a globally-coordinated rollout for the greatest possible impact.
The facility will help to bring the pandemic under control, save lives, accelerate economic recovery and ensure that the race for vaccines is a collaboration, not a contest, according to the WHO chief.
“The fastest route to ending the pandemic and accelerating the global economic recovery is to ensure some people are vaccinated in all countries, not all people in some countries,” he noted.
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