Doctors' wives who browse through medical journals have recently become anxious about the toxicity and carcinogenic potential of the polyunsaturated fatty acids they use in preparing Jolliffe's "Prudent Diet" for their husbands. They have read an editor's suggestion that "linoleic acid acts by diverting energy required for the synthesis of body constituents" and that "unsaturated fatty acids are potent uncouplers" of oxidative processes from adenosine triphosphate production, and that the "effect of unsaturated fatty acids on the incidence, growth and spread of tumors" should be studied before using them as foods.1
Perusal of the references given by the editor seems to dispel the ghosts which so alarm him. Microsomes, the metabolic centers of the cells, do contain a lipoprotein which potentiates their enzymes for splitting adenosine triphosphate. This lipoprotein does contain polyunsaturated and, in larger quantities, saturated fatty acids and those with one double bond. The fatty acids alone
DOCK W. Want to Live Dangerously? Try the Prudent Diet! Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(4):613–614. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280100121019
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