IT IS accepted generally that specific alteration in the diet will lower the concentration of cholesterol in the blood. The most effective results to date have been achieved by increasing consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly linoleic acid. However, indefinitive and conflicting information has left much to the imagination of some food processors. Some of the largest vegetable oil processors in the United States have implied in advertisements that the cholesterol level can be lowered merely by adding polyunsaturated fatty acids to the diet. This selling campaign has created confusion among lay people, making it increasingly important that the physician clarify for his patients the conditions under which changes in the diet will be effective.
The patient should understand that if he increases his consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids without reducing his intake of other fats, little is gained save for additional calories which could lead to obesity. A particular