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Comment & Response
December 2016

Association of Specific Dietary Fats With Mortality

Author Affiliations
  • 1Nutrition, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  • 2Program of Nutrition, Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(12):1878-1879. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7131

To the Editor Recommendations for dietary fat intake continue to be debated among scientists, policy makers, dietitians, and physicians. The study by Wang and colleagues1 adds evidence that dietary patterns that include unsaturated fats may be useful and achievable for improving health. Digging deeper, findings from this prospective analysis of dietary fat intake measured in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study revealed that dietary patterns with higher intake of linoleic acid (18:2 ω6) were associated with lower total and cause-specific mortality rates in adults. Significant though less robust associations were reported for higher intakes of monounsaturated and marine-derived ω-3 polyunsaturated fats with lower mortality. The intake of a higher ω6:ω3 ratio was not significantly associated with total or cause-specific mortality. Notable is the finding that linoleic acid, a fat that was prominent in the US diet, is not only safe, but likely beneficial for improving the health of adults.

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