This is the first article published in English at this website, and the reason for that will become obvious when you finish reading its entirety. A Chinese version was published two days ago.


On 7-16-2018, Mr. Guo, a reader of this blog, sent an email asking if trans fat is more slowly metabolized than cis fat. As such, four days later (7-20-2018) I published an article titled Is trans fat metabolized more slowly?.

In this article, I indicated that there are numerous articles on the Internet that claim trans fat is more slowly metabolized than cis fat, and they almost all mentioned that it takes 51 days to digest trans fat.

I also said that, through perseverance, I finally uncovered the real culprit: the “51-day" theory was invented by a chiropractor in a book that he published in 2004, and this myth was subsequently disseminated by various media.

However, even though I have cracked down on this myth in my article, I still felt an incompleteness of my mission. After all, my article is written in Chinese, yet this myth is wide-spread in both Chinese and English. Therefore, it would be a disservice to the English-speaking community if my discovery remains publicized in Chinese only.

So after some soul searching, on 7-26-2018 I wrote an email to Dr. Harriet Hall, who is a retired physician dedicated to the cracking down of medical myths. The next day she replied and asked whether my article has been translated into English. I replied “no”and proceeded to sending her key information that I have uncovered for this project. She emailed back the next day and said that the information was very helpful. After that, I never heard from her again.

On 8-9-2018, a reader’s comment on my article alerted me to check if Dr. Hall has published an article about the trans fat myth. And, sure enough, she indeed published an article titled The Trans Fat 51-Day Half-life Myth on 8-7-2018.

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All of the materials used in her article were those that I sent to her, and she also copied a sentence verbatim from my email. What’s even more incredible is that she said she was the first to debunk the trans fat myth.

The sentence that was copied from my email is “Amazingly, no one seems to have challenged this absurd assertion”, and then she went on to say: “So I will be the first to say it is absolute nonsense.”

Anyway, despite feeling sick to the stomach, I am still thankful to her. After all, exposing quackery is a mission that we both have committed to, and it’s undeniable that her blog has a large readership. On the day of her article’s publication, there were already 71 responses, all of which condemned the trans fat myth’s creator.


About the author: Dr. Ching Lin is a retired professor after 22 years of service at the University of California San Francisco. He has 40 years of medical research experience and has published nearly 200 peer-reviewed research articles in PubMed-indexed medical journals. He has also served as reviewer for more than 60 health science-related journals.  He is now using his extensive research experience to run this website, publishing science-based articles to debunk quackeries, myths, and rumors that are rampant on the Internet.

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