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You'd butter believe it: Margarine consumption is linked to lower IQs in children
10-01-2009, 05:49 PM,
You'd butter believe it: Margarine consumption is linked to lower IQs in children
You'd butter believe it: Margarine consumption is linked to lower IQs in children

By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 7:53 AM on 29th September 2009

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It became popular as a healthier alternative to butter.

But children who ate margarine every day had lower IQs than those who did not, a study has found.

At the age of three-and-a-half, they scored three points lower on intelligence tests than other youngsters.

Margarine has been linked to lower IQs in children

Healthy alternative: But margarine has been linked to lower IQs in children

Importantly, the link held even when parental occupation and other factors affecting wealth and class were taken into account, the study of children born in the mid-1990s showed.

By the age of seven, scores were six points lower – but only in children that had been underweight when born, suggesting that diet is particularly important for brain development in the more vulnerable.

Writing in the journal Intelligence, the researchers from New Zealand’s Auckland University said it is unclear what lies behind the link.

However, trans fats may be to blame. The fats have been linked to memory problems in animal tests and may make it harder for the body to process healthier fats.

In the mid-1990s, trans fats formed up to 17 per cent of the mix of some margarines.

Today, however, levels are around 1 per cent – significantly lower than some butters.

The discovery in recent years that the fats clog up the arteries, raising the risk of heart disease, has led to concerted efforts to cut levels in food.

However, the high amounts in the past may have hampered the development of today’s adults.

The researchers, whose study showed that eating fish and cereal boosted intelligence, said: ‘We found a number of dietary factors to be significantly associated with intelligence measures.

The association between margarine consumption and IQ scores was the most consistent and novel finding.’

The researchers said that more work was needed to confirm if trans fats, which are formed when vegetable oil is solidified, were at fault, or if something else was to blame. They said: ‘Children who ate margarine daily had IQ scores that were up to six points lower compared to children who did not.

‘The impact of regular margarine consumption on intelligence now warrants further investigation in order to replicate these findings and to identify possible mechanisms that may underlie this association.’

Sian Porter, of the British Dietetic Association, said that margarine is generally healthier than butter but the high fat content means that both should be used sparingly.

A spokesman for the Food Standards Agency said that trans fat consumption in the UK is now below the recommended levels.

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10-04-2009, 11:41 PM,
You'd butter believe it: Margarine consumption is linked to lower IQs in children
A good documentary on the subject of butter vs margarine & industrial processed oils and the manipulation by pharmaceutical (plavix et al) / health studies on cholesterol levels. It has some interesting chemistry evidence as well relating how the body handles processed fats.

The Oiling of America


.. then again there's the view that all meat is bad and humans are not omnivores in that case, steer (pun intended) clear of this lecture film and stick to a show like Earthlings but keep in mind there is still a segment of farming that is sustainable (mixed farming) and treats livestock with the respect the had in the past.

Is there any evidence on raw vegetables vs boiled (like stews) and fermentation (like sauerkraut) nutritional values, I'm torn on that. I think it depends on the specific food.
There are no others, there is only us.

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