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D. Before You Go On That Low-fat Diet ...

Narrator: This is Science Today. When it comes to preventing heart disease, researcher Ronald Krauss of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, says people should consider their own disease risk before going on a fat restrictive diet.

Krauss: There is a tremendous amount of individual variability in the way that cholesterol levels respond to this type of diet across the population. And there's more and more evidence that this is due to genetic differences among individuals that help to determine blood cholesterol profile and blood cholesterol levels, as well as the response to diet.

Narrator: Krauss found it was people at highest risk of heart disease who did best on a low-fat diet. Others studied either didn't respond at all or experienced an increase in cholesterol.

Krauss: It's more and more appropriate for people to treat their risk and to work on that basis rather than assuming that we can prescribe something that would be effective in reducing heart disease risk in everybody. That just isn't going to happen.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.