After reading the findings comparing the Masai, and the rural and urban Bantu in Tanzania, Dr. Eric Westman penned a reply to the British Journal of Sports Medicine:
Yet another possible explanation
Eric C Westman, researcher Duke University
Thank you for this contemporary assessment of dietary intake among the Masai pastoralists. Through the paradigm-shifting lens of a recent comprehensive summary of the lack of science to implicate saturated fat as a cause for heart disease , and new studies which suggest carbohydrate to be more worrisome than saturated fat for atherogenesis [2-4], there is a simple explanation for why the Masai do not develop atherosclerosis despite consuming a high-fat diet that the authors did not consider: high-fat diets (not containing man-made fats) are not atherogenic.
1. Taubes G. Good Calories, Bad Calories. Knopf Publishing, 2007.
2. Krauss RM et al. Separate effects of reduced carbohydrate intake and weight loss on atherogenic dyslipidemia. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:1025-31.
3. Mozaffarian D et al. Dietary fats, carbohydrate, and progression of coronary atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;60:1102-3.
4.Volek JS et al. Dietary carbohydrate restriction induces a unique metabolic state positively affecting atherogenic dyslipidemia, fatty acid partitioning, and metabolic syndrome. Prog Lipid Res 2008;Mar 15 (Epub ahead of print]