Mary G. Enig
|Mary G. Enig|
|Born||Mary Gertrude Dracon
|Died||September 8, 2014|
|Residence||Silver Spring, Maryland, USA|
|Institutions||Weston A. Price Foundation|
|Alma mater||University of Maryland, College Park|
|Notable awards||Master of the American College of Nutrition|
Mary Gertrude Enig, Ph.D. (née Dracon, 1931 – September 8, 2014) was a nutritionist and researcher known for her unconventional positions on the role saturated fats play in diet and health. She promoted skepticism towards the widely held view in the scientific and medical communities that diets high in saturated fats can contribute to development of heart disease, while she advocated for a diet based on whole foods and rich in certain saturated fats.
Academic and professional history
Enig attended the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) where she received a MS and later a PhD in Nutritional Sciences in 1984. From 1984 through 1991 she was a faculty research associate at UMCP with the Lipids Research Group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry where she participated in biochemical research on lipids.
Enig was a Licensed Nutritionist in Maryland from May 1988 to October 2008. She was a Master of the American College of Nutrition. and was a former editor of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition where she published articles on food fats and oils.
Enig was a Board member and the vice president of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) which she co-founded with Sally Fallon in 1999 to promote nutrition and health advice based on the work of early 20th century dentist and researcher Weston A. Price.
Enig, a member of The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS), disputed the widely accepted view in the scientific community that consumption of saturated fats contributes to heart disease. Her chapter in the book Coronary Heart Disease: The Dietary Sense and Nonsense – An evaluation by scientists was reviewed in the New England Journal of Medicine, which noted that while she provided an appropriate discussion of trans fats in diet, she did not accurately depict the medical literature on the connection between diet and coronary disease, and that she wrote with an inflammatory tone that was unjustified. Enig responded to the review in a letter published in the journal.
Enig believed both butter and coconut oil are good for heart health. She published articles on the properties of coconut oil and was a vocal advocate for its consumption. Citing the work of Jon J. Kabara, Enig stated that lauric acid has antimicrobial properties and that unprocessed coconut oil could be effective in the treatment of viral infections including HIV/AIDS.
Enig was an early researcher of trans fatty acids, warning of their dangers before they were widely accepted. She believed that trans fats lower the beneficial type of cholesterol-carrying particles (HDL) and pushed for improved labeling of trans fats on products, which is now mandatory on food products in the U.S. and in Europe.
In 1989, Sally Fallon, an advocate for the nutritional theories of Weston A. Price, a dentist who traveled the world in the 1920s and '30s researching traditional diets and their relationship to dental decay, recruited Enig to utilize her nutritional training to co-write a book to promote Price's work called Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. It explains Price's findings and provides recipes of traditional foods. as well as raw milk, kombucha, probiotics (kefir, yogurt, kim-chee), trans-fat avoidance, organ meats, coconut oil, and butter and has sold more than 400,000 copies as of 2011.
Enig co-wrote another book with Fallon called Eat Fat, Lose Fat which promotes what Enig considered "good" fats, including fat from coconut, butter, cream, nuts, meat, lard, goose fat, and eggs. In the book, Enig argued that many who follow low-fat diets feel low on energy because they are "fat deficient."
- Obituary - Mary G. Enig, Legacy.com, September 9, 2014
- Maloof, Rich. "Coconut Oil". MSN Health. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Camm, John; Luscher, Thomas; Serruys, Patrick (2009). The European Society of Cardiology Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. Blackwell Publishing. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-19-957285-4.
- Black, Jane (August 6, 2008). "The Great Divide". Washington Post. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- The Pioneering Spirit of Dr. Mary G. Enig, Kaayla Daniel, PhD, drkaayladanielcom
- Passwater, Richard A. (November 1993 – January 1994). Health Risks from Processed Foods and Trans Fats. Interview with Dr. Mary Enig. Whole Foods Magazine.
- "Verification Page". Maryland Board of Dietetic Practice. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- Eauclaire, Sally. (July 1996). "Soy backlash". Vegetarian Times.
- Awards Information. Retrieved June 17, 2011 from the American College of Nutrition website.
- Bowden, Jonny (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why. Gloucester,MA: Fair Winds Press. pp. 108, 167, 177, 301, 311. ISBN 1-59233-228-5.
- Burros, Marian (October 7, 1992). "Now What? U.S. Study Says Margarine May Be Harmful". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- "Board of Directors". Weston A. Price Foundation. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- THINCS Membership
- Ravnskov U, Allen C, Atrens D, et al. (February 2002). "Studies of dietary fat and heart disease". Science 295 (5559): 1464–6. doi:10.1126/science.295.5559.1464c. PMID 11859893.
- Stone, Neil J. (1994). "Book Review – Coronary Heart Disease: The Dietary Sense and Nonsense – An Evaluation by Scientists". New England Journal of Medicine (Massachusetts Medical Society) 330 (9): 943–944. doi:10.1056/NEJM199403313301321. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Enig, MG (1994). "More on Coronary heart disease: The dietary sense and nonsense". The New England Journal of Medicine 331 (9): 615; author reply 615–6. doi:10.1056/nejm199409013310914. PMID 8047097..
- Webb, Densie (September 5, 1990). "Processed oils rival butter in raising cholesterol". Wilmington Morning Star. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Trimming the Fats. (December 10, 2003). The Washington Post.
- Enig, Mary (May 2000). Know Your Fats. Bethesda Press. p. 114. ISBN 0-9678126-0-7.
- Enig, Mary (September 1995). "Health and nutritional benefits from coconut oil and its advantages over competing oils" (PDF). Indian Coconut Journal. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
- "Garin: Claims on health benefits of VCO need proof". The Philippine Star. September 12, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- "Research on coconuts for Aids urged". The Nation. December 29, 1997. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Pollan, Michael. (2008). In Defense of Food – An Eater's Manifesto. Penguin. p. 45. ISBN 1-59420-145-5.
- Joe Milicia (Jan 19, 2005). "Companies pull trans fats before label rules". The Bryan Times. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
- Food Industry. "The Great Divide: Who Says Good Nutrition Means Animal Fats? Weston A. Price. – Business Exchange". Bx.businessweek.com. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- "Sally Fallon is not afraid of fat – Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. March 17, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- "A LA CARTER, Chewing the fat to lose weight". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved June 10, 2011.