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October 7, 1950


JAMA. 1950;144(6):469. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920060031015

A current upsurge of interest in and research on arteriosclerosis has raised important questions in nutrition. Dietary cholesterol has been implicated in the problem of atherosclerosis since it was first demonstrated that one could produce deposits of cholesterol in the large vessels of the rabbit by feeding cholesterol and that an early stage in the development of human atherosclerosis is the deposition of cholesterol esters in the vessel wall. Whether the "rabbit studies" are pertinent to man has long been questioned, because enormous amounts of cholesterol were fed and the rabbit has no physiologic mechanism for metabolizing dietary cholesterol; hence cholesterol would be expected to accumulate.

There are differences of opinion among clinicians as to the advisability of restriction of cholesterol intake in man for the purpose of either retarding or revising the sclerotic process. A direct experiment to answer this question has not been devised. The only well established