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Choler-sterol

August 23, 1987

Though the Calendar Letters section may be an odd forum for a discussion of the relevance of diet to heart disease, the publishing of Howard N. Allen's letter (Aug. 16) invites an informed reply.

Allen, who identifies himself as president of the Greater Los Angeles Affiliate of the American Heart Assn., writes that "as most Calendar readers probably know, excessive cholesterol in the diet is associated with heart disease."

The fact is that it is excessive cholesterol in the blood , not in the diet, that is associated with heart disease. There has never been a large-scale dietary trial in any general population in the world that establishes a correlation between dietary cholesterol intake and serum levels. Dietary fats, yes. Other dietary factors, yes. But dietary cholesterol, no.

DAVID G. STOUGHTON

Santa Monica

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