LIPID METABOLISM AND THERAPY: Edited by Philip C. Calder and Richard J. DeckelbaumSaturated fatty acids and coronary heart disease risk the debate goes onWilliams, Christine M.; Salter, Andrew Author Information aSchool Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading bSchool of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK Correspondence to Professor Christine M. Williams, School Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AR, UK. Tel: +44 01183788476; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: March 2016 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 97-102 doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000248 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Recently published meta-analyses of cohort studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have challenged the link between saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. This review considers the outcome of these studies in the context of other evidence. Recent findings Recent meta-analyses of cohort studies suggest that reducing SFA intakes has little impact on CHD risk when replaced by carbohydrates. The evidence for benefits on CHD risk of replacing SFA with unsaturated fatty acids in cohort studies is stronger and is also supported by data from a recent Cochrane analysis of RCTs of dietary SFA reduction and CHD risk. This review highlights the challenges of cohort studies involving diet because of the changing patterns of dietary behaviour and other multifactorial risk factors. The studies included are normally conducted over many years and are often dependent on a single measurement of dietary intake. Summary The link between SFA intake, plasma cholesterol, and CHD risk is based on a broad range of evidence including mechanistic studies, RCTs of surrogate end points and clinical outcomes, as well as multinational population comparisons. Public health nutrition policy should continue to take into account the totality of evidence with recognition of the limitations of dietary cohort studies. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.