A friend has emailed me the full text of Pawel Grieb's paper documenting a number of physiological parameters of medium to long term Optimal Diet (OD) eaters in Poland, as pointed out by Flo and Stan. There are a few points worth making. The biggest mistake, BTW, is that the authors claim (correctly) that the OD diet aims for >70% fat with (incorrectly) "no restriction on the type of fat (saturated or unsaturated) or cholesterol level". I think they meant that the OD does not ban saturated fats. This is of course true but the impression given is that the OD allows "healthy" fats, which are, of course, inedible. So the heavy emphasis on saturated fats is missed by the paper. A pity, anyone might be left thinking corn oil is a human food...
The first positive aspect is that this is a multi author study, eleven authors from several medical centres/unversities. So it's not a one man band case report. I like that.
The second is that it is remarkably positive about the findings throughout. Even the elevated LDL cholesterol levels are not taken as extreme and are not trumpeted from the rooftops as the portent of imminent cardiovascular doom. So refreshing!
There aren't really any things in the paper which don't come through in the abstract. The one patient with a marginally elevated HOMA score had both glucose and insulin within lab reference ranges, just both were high enough to get the HOMA score out of the accepted physiological range. I don't think this is a big deal because there is one rather major point which the paper never addressed.
If you read JK about the OD he will point out that it is very rare for an individual to adopt and stick with the OD for the long term unless they have a serious medical problem which forces this. Of the 31 people studied, 22 had actually been on the OD for at least 3 years. So although the researchers express their wish for a comparable group of normal diet eating people, I would personally be much more interested in the lab data of 31 non OD patients, but with a variety of medical problems of sufficient seriousness that they SHOULD be on the Optimal Diet. Then we'd probably see some metabolic syndrome results and statin deficiencies!
Still, anyone seriously considering the OD could do worse than to read through this paper or to present it to their GP if they were getting grief about the risks involved in eating all of that (saturated) fat...