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July 1957

Essential Fatty Acids and Atherosclerosis: A Critique of the Present Knowledge

Author Affiliations

Wellesley Hills, Mass.

From the Heart Disease Epidemiology Study, of the National Heart Institute, Framingham, Mass.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(1):77-84. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260070091010

Recent publications from the University of Capetown, South Africa, by Bronte-Stewart and his colleagues 1,2 have led to wide interest and discussion among nutritionists and chemists concerned with atherogenesis because a new lead to the problem seems to have been created. The work of the South African group has appeared to many as a de novo stroke of brilliant insight and experimentation which promises to redirect further research in atherosclerosis. Furthermore, the urgency of the clinical problems which result from atherosclerosis has lead with startling rapidity to the dissemination among clinicians of "practical methods" for influencing the atherosclerotic process.3 It is worth reviewing the history of these developments in order to find the origin of the concepts and a fair estimate of the meaning of the data and, finally, to evaluate the justification for submitting patients to regimens based on this evidence.

The fundamental working hypothesis for much of

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