Industrial seed oils seem positively dangerous to health

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Vegetable oils are better called industrial seed oils, P.D. Mangan reminds us, since they’re made from seeds, not vegetables, and require an industrial process to make them in any volume:

The manufacturing process for vegetable oils involves pressing at high pressure, and extracting more oil using solvents such as hexane, a volatile hydrocarbon similar to gasoline. The oils are then refined by heating to a high temperature and adding sodium hydroxide (lye), and finally, degummed, bleached, and deodorized.

Without knowing anything else about it, I already know that I don’t want this industrial substance in my body, much less in the massive quantities most people consume.


The lipid hypothesis of heart disease, sometimes called the diet-heart hypothesis, holds that dietary saturated fat and high blood cholesterol cause coronary heart disease. Since the beginnings of that idea, mainstream health authorities have urged people to use vegetable oils in order to replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat, in the hope that this would reduce the incidence of heart disease. How has that worked out?

A recently published re-analysis of data from the Minnesota Coronary Experiment found that polyunsaturated fats did indeed lower serum cholesterol. Problem is, each 30 mg/dL reduction in cholesterol was associated with a 22% increased risk of death.

The same group re-analyzed the data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and found that the intervention group that had replaced saturated fat with vegetable oils had a death rate from all causes that was 62% higher than the control group, and 70% higher for cardiovascular disease.

These were randomized controlled studies, which can show causation, as opposed to epidemiological studies, which cannot, and only show association. In epidemiological studies that show an association between intake of polyunsaturated fats and less heart disease, that association could very well be due to the healthy user effect.

Knowing this, deliberately consuming more polyunsaturated fats in the form of industrial seed oils seems positively dangerous to health.


  1. Slovenian Guest says:

    Economist Karl Denninger also noted:

    “There are no good “vegetable” oils. Some are worse than others but none are good. Some nut based oils (e.g. coconut) are perhaps better, but were talking in relative terms, not absolutes. Unsaturated oils are not shelf-stable without chemical modification — that’s what “unsaturated” means, that there are open chemical bond sites on the hydrocarbon chain. Hydrogenated oils (if that word appears anywhere on the label) are trans-fats and the safe amount of them in your diet is zero. All plant-based oils are high in Omega-6 and while you do need some small amount of them in their natural form they are pro-inflammatory and thus promote heart disease. Note that historically the balance of Omega-3 (mostly in animal flesh) and Omega-6 (mostly in plants) was about 1:1. Concentrating the amount of Omega-6 oils by processing plants into oils has dramatically increased the ratio to, in most people, 10:1 or more!

    The pharmaceutical industry is well aware of point this and has been for decades. In fact all of the OTC NSAIDS (Ibuprofin, aspirin, etc) work by reducing the metabolism of Omega-6 fatty acids into inflammatory compounds.

    Let that sink in for a minute or two: Both your doctor and the pharmaceutical industry know, as a matter of scientific fact, that consuming these oils fuels inflammation because the method of action of some of the most-widely used over-the-counter drugs is to reduce that metabolic process.”

    That’s why aspirin helps!

    And there’s more:

    “Alarmingly, an assessment of industry-sponsored RCTs showed the median increase in life expectancy for selected participants in secondary prevention trials who adhered to taking statins every day for several years was a mere four days.”

    From The cholesterol and calorie hypotheses are both dead — it is time to focus on the real culprit: insulin resistance

    Again found via the Market Ticker, where Karl Denninger further adds:

    “Now tell me folks — would you agree to take a drug after a heart attack if (1) you knew it would cost you some amount of money — any amount of money — and (2) that the expected improvement in your survival time was four days if you took it every day for several years?

    No, you would not — and you know it.

    Yet not only the drug industry but your doctor have made billions of dollars selling you these drugs without telling you that the expected improvement in your life is four whole ****ing days.

    Knowingly failing to disclose a material fact that would have changed your decision had you known it for the purpose of making a profit at your expense has a name: FRAUD. It is not a mistake, it is a crime.”

  2. Another eye-opening post. Thanks for all you do.

    Special thanks to SG, for the great comments and links.

  3. I’ve cut them out of my diet — been over five years now. Will do an occasional nut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil to stir fry. But mostly, bacon grease and lard. Food tastes better, and I haven’t gone circular as medical science would claim I should.

    My Dad’s been taking statins for two decades now, and I’ve been trying to get him to stop. It has noticeably affected his mental acuity, and from what I’ve read, they have next to no upside — as Slovenian guest noted.

  4. Terry Colon says:

    If I have my facts right, these oils were first developed to replace whale oil for lubrication and whatnot. It was after petroleum rendered that moot that they were repurposed as food.

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