Actually, Margarine May Be Worse Than Butter

New study re-analyzes decades-old research

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 6, 2013 11:24 AM CST

(Newser) – Eating margarine in an effort to safeguard your heart? In what Forbes terms "an exceedingly strange turn of events," it turns out the fake stuff may be worse for your heart than the real stuff. Researchers were able to access previously unpublished mortality data from a nearly five-decades-old study of 458 heart disease patients. The data revealed that while the group that switched from saturated fatty acids (ie, butter) to polyunsaturated fatty acids (in this case, safflower oil and safflower margarine) did indeed see a 13% drop in cholesterol, they were more likely to die from cardiovascular or coronary heart disease.

As the Daily Mail reports, this is the only "randomized controlled study" to look at the increased consumption of omega 6. Also known as linoleic acid, it's found in margarine made from corn, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil and happens to be the most common PUFA found in most Western diets. The body converts it to arachidonic acid, which can ultimately spur inflammation ... which just so happens to be a leading cause of heart disease. But the Mail spoke with a number of scientists who pooh-poohed the study, with one calling it "enormously underpowered."

  (Shutterstock)
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