Fatty acids characteristic of ruminant-animal fat have been found to be present in significantly lower proportions in samples from the depot fat of persons dying of ischaemic heart disease (cases) than in specimens from persons dying of unrelated causes (controls). Although such acids are also present, in lesser amounts, in hydrogenated marine oils, this case-versus-control difference is difficult to explain other than on the basis that controls consumed a higher proportion of ruminant-animal fat in their total dietary fat than did the cases. The proportions of polyunsaturated acids and of certain higher (C20 and C22 mostly mono-enoic) acids in the depot fat of cases and controls are virtually identical. There is also no indication of any difference in degrees of saturation of fats between the case and control specimens.
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