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Home > Anti-aging Research > Trans Fatty Acids

Trans Fatty Acids

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News & Research:

  • Trans Fats Tied to Increased Dementia Risk - Medscape, 10/25/19 - "Participants with the highest concentrations of serum elaidic acid, a major trans-fatty acid formed in the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils, had a 53% increased risk of dementia. This group also had a 43% higher likelihood for developing AD compared with those with the lowest levels"
  • Trans Fat Ban Saved Lives in New York, Study Shows - NBC News, 4/12/17 - "Heart attacks and strokes fell by more than 6 percent three years after some New York counties banned trans fats ... Trans fats, found in oils used to make cookies, crackers, microwave popcorn and to fry fast food, stay fresh longer than liquid fats. But the chemical process used to make them solid like butter also makes them clog arteries just like butter or lard does ... The debate confused the U.S. public, and many people still believe that butter is better for health than margarine. That may have been true of the old margarines made using hydrogenated oils, but it's less true now ... Good substitutes for partially hydrogenated fats and saturated fats are liquid oils such as olive oil, canola oil and safflower oil ... a large order of Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen cajun fries contains 3.5 g of trans-fatty acids per serving, Taco Bell's Cinnabon Delights (12-pack) contain 2.0 g of trans-fatty acids per serving, and multiple varieties of Pillsbury Shape sugar cookies contain 2.5 g of trans-fatty acids per serving"
  • Not All Trans Fats Harm the Heart, Study Contends - WebMD, 9/22/15 - "naturally occurring trans fats found in dairy and meat products might actually help protect the heart ... people with higher levels of naturally occurring trans fats were 37 percent less likely to suffer a sudden cardiac death, compared with those who had low levels of natural trans fats"
  • Trans Fats From Foods May Worsen Memory, Study Finds - WebMD, 6/17/15 - "each gram of trans fats eaten per day was associated with 12 to 21 fewer words recalled, out of an average score of 86 ... Golomb calls trans fats an "anti-food," noting that they increase levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol while simultaneously driving down levels of "good" HDL cholesterol ... Trans fats also increase inflammation and interfere with hormone production ... Besides causing inflammation, trans fats might also inhibit the body's production of omega 3 fatty acids"
  • Trans fat consumption linked to diminished memory in working-aged adults - Science Daily, 11/18/14 - "From a health standpoint, trans fat consumption has been linked to higher body weight, more aggression and heart disease ... Among men under age 45, those who ate more trans fats showed notably worse performance on the word memory test ... Each additional gram a day of trans fats consumed was associated with an estimated 0.76 fewer words correctly recalled"
  • More trans fat consumption linked to greater aggression, researchers find - Science Daily, 3/13/12 - "The study of nearly 1,000 men and women provides the first evidence linking dTFAs with adverse behaviors that impacted others, ranging from impatience to overt aggression ... We found that greater trans fatty acids were significantly associated with greater aggression, and were more consistently predictive of aggression and irritability, across the measures tested, than the other known aggression predictors that were assessed"
  • Alzheimer's: Diet patterns may keep brain from shrinking - Science Daily, 12/29/11 - "People with diets high in several vitamins or in omega 3 fatty acids are less likely to have the brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer's disease than people whose diets are not high in those nutrients ... Those with diets high in omega 3 fatty acids and in vitamins C, D, E and the B vitamins also had higher scores on mental thinking tests than people with diets low in those nutrients ... people with diets high in trans fats were more likely to have brain shrinkage and lower scores on the thinking and memory tests than people with diets low in trans fats" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Eating poorly can make you blue: Trans-fats increase risk of depression, while olive oil helps avoid risk - Science Daily, 1/26/11 - "the participants with an elevated consumption of trans-fats (fats present in artificial form in industrially-produced pastries and fast food, and naturally present in certain whole milk products) "presented up to a 48% increase in the risk of depression when they were compared to participants who did not consume these fats," ... In addition, the study demonstrated a dose-response relationship, "whereby the more trans-fats were consumed, the greater the harmful effect they produced in the volunteers," ...Furthermore, the team, ... also analyzed the influence of polyunsaturated fats (abundant in fish and vegetable oils) and of olive oil on the occurrence of depression. "In fact, we discovered that this type of healthier fats, together with olive oil, are associated with a lower risk of suffering depression,""
  • High fructose, trans fats lead to significant liver disease, says study - Science Daily, 6/22/10 - "mice fed the normal calorie chow diet remained lean and did not have fatty liver disease. Mice fed high calorie diets (trans-fat alone or a combination of trans-fat and high fructose) became obese and had fatty liver disease ... it was only the group fed the combination of trans-fat and high fructose which developed the advanced fatty liver disease which had fibrosis ... This same group also had increased oxidative stress in the liver, increased inflammatory cells, and increased levels of plasma oxidative stress markers"
  • Eating Fish, Nuts And Olive Oil May Be Associated With Reduced Risk Of Age-related Blindness - Science Daily, 5/15/09 - "Individuals who consumed higher levels of trans-unsaturated fats—found in baked goods and processed foods—were more likely to have late AMD, whereas those who consumed the most omega-three fatty acids were less likely to have early AMD. "Olive oil intake (100 milliliters or more per week vs. less than 1 milliliter per week) was associated with decreased prevalence of late AMD," the authors write. "No significant associations with AMD were observed for intakes of fish, total fat, butter or margarine.""
  • Palm Oil Not A Healthy Substitute For Trans Fats, Study Finds - Science Daily, 5/11/09
  • How Natural Oils Can Be Hydrogenated Without Making Unhealthy Trans Fats - Science Daily, 1/23/09
  • Not All Trans Fats Are Equally Risky - WebMD, 3/7/08
  • Are trans fat substitutes really healthier? - CNN, 4/16/07
  • Trans Fats, Heart Risk: 'Strong' Link - WebMD, 3/26/07
  • Nutrition Researchers Provide The Skinny On Trans Fats - Science Daily, 2/2/07
  • McDonald's finally settles on trans-fat-free cooking oil - USA Today, 1/29/07
  • Trans Fats May Increase Infertility - WebMD, 1/12/07
  • Trans Fats Up Heart Disease Risk - WebMD, 11/15/06 - "even those eating just 1.3 grams per 1,000 calories per day were at increased risk ... That's not much, when you consider that a typical serving of french fries has about 5 grams of trans fats, a Danish has more than 3 grams, and even microwave popcorn has 1.1 grams"
  • Trans fat adds more pounds than other fat, research indicates - USA Today, 10/21/06
  • Trans Fat Leads To Weight Gain Even On Same Total Calories, Animal Study Shows - Science Daily, 6/19/06 - "Diets rich in trans fat cause a redistribution of fat tissue into the abdomen and lead to a higher body weight even when the total dietary calories are controlled"
  • Eat Trans Fat, Get Big Belly - WebMD, 6/12/06 - "Trans fats make you fatter than other foods with the same number of calories -- but that's not all ...  trans fats increase the amount of fat around the belly"
  • How Much Trans Fat in Those Fries? - WebMD, 4/12/06
  • How to keep trans fats under control - MSNBC, 2/10/06 - "But the Daily Value for saturated fat is high for two reasons. It overestimates the amount needed by people who should have less than 1,800 calories per day because they are sedentary or overweight. It also overestimates how much the average person with high blood cholesterol should have. Their saturated fat should be below seven percent of their calorie total"
  • Trans Fats May Raise Risk of Gallstones - WebMD, 5/11/05 - "those who consumed the most trans fats had a 23% higher risk of gallstone disease than those who ate the least amount of trans fats"
  • Trans fat-free — the next food fad? - MSNBC, 1/18/05
  • What’s Wrong with Trans Fats? - Delicious Living, 1/05
  • Group Wants Trans Fats Banned - WebMD, 5/18/04
  • Trans Fat Raises Bad Cholesterol - WebMD, 4/19/04
  • Dietary Trans Fatty Acids Increase Small, Dense LDL Particles - Medscape, 9/2/03 - "Consumption of dietary trans fatty acids (FAs) is associated with a deleterious increase in small, dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol particles ... Accumulating evidence indicates that the size of LDL particles confers an independent risk, with small and dense particles being more atherogenic than are larger, less dense particles ... the diet enriched with saturated fat (butter) was associated with the highest plasma LDL-cholesterol concentrations but, paradoxically, the largest LDL particles ... These data reinforce the importance of promoting diets that are low in saturated fat and that contain a minimal quantity of trans fatty acids"
  • Targeting Trans Fatty Acids? - Dr. Weil, 7/29/03
  • Fessing Up to Fats - Time Magazine, 7/21/03 - "Even small quantities of trans-fatty acids, we now know, raise bad cholesterol and other blood fats. They may also reduce levels of HDL — or good — cholesterol and increase the risk of diabetes. And because of antiquated labeling rules, products that were practically swimming in trans-fatty acids could be called "fat-free.""
  • Trans Fatty Acids - WebMD, 7/11/03 - "Saturated fats and trans fat have bad effects on cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil, and corn oil) have good effects ... If the ingredient list includes the words "shortening," "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" or "hydrogenated vegetable oil," the food contains trans fat. Because ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance, smaller amounts are present when the ingredient is close to the end of the list"
  • Food Labels to Include Trans Fat Content - WebMD, 7/9/03
  • Is Butter Better? - Dr. Weil, 2/28/03 - "margarine is made from liquid vegetable oils that are artificially saturated (with hydrogen) to make them semisolid. This process changes the fat molecules making them capable of damaging arteries and raising the risk for heart attack. I believe that these oils also promote cancer, inflammation, damage to the immune system and premature aging. Some of this harm is due to unnatural fat molecules (trans-fats) created in the hydrogenation process."
  • Unhealthy Trans Fats Not Labeled on Foods - WebMD, 2/10/03 - "[Trans fats] are there and they are not labeled ... Saturated fats are the only fats given special treatment on a product's label. Yet trans fats are just as bad. They may even be worse ... Trans fat increases 'bad' LDL cholesterol -- in some studies more than saturated fat ... It also has a tendency to reduce 'good' HDL cholesterol, which saturated fat doesn't do ... Trans fat also increases blood levels of two other bad actors. One is the kind of fat called triglycerides. The other is a particle called lipoprotein(a), which promotes clogged arteries ... Any amount of trans fat is bad"
  • New Report Says Only Safe Intake of Trans Fatty Acids is Zero - New Hope Natural Media, 8/30/02 - "Studies show that these fats elevate total cholesterol levels, decrease high-density lipoprotein (“good”) cholesterol, and interfere with essential fatty acids and with the liver’s detoxification system. There is circumstantial evidence that consuming trans fatty acids may increase the risk of developing heart disease or cancer"
  • Is New Improved [Smart Balance] Margarine Good for You? - Dr. Weil, 4/3/02 - "While Smart Balance may be better than most margarine – if you adhere to the specified "balance" of fats in the rest of your diet – my views about margarine remain unchanged. It is still fat, mostly unhealthy fat, and a highly processed food. The less processed food you eat, the better."
  • Trans-Fatty Acids In Diet May Be Associated With First Heart Attack - Doctor's Guide, 2/20/02
  • Hydrogenated Oils Affect Amount of Vitamin K Available to Bone - Doctor's Guide, 11/30/01 - "Hydrogenation of plant oils decreases the amount of vitamin K available to bone in consumers using food products containing the oils ... available data indicate that more than half of younger US adults do not meet the current guidelines governing adequate intake of the nutrient" - Another reason to stay away from the brands of peanut butter that are hydrogenated. - Ben
  • Trans Fats and Type II Diabetes - DrMirkin.com, 11/15/01 - "Until labeling laws are changed, the only way to know whether a food contains trans fats is to read the list of ingredients on any processed food. If you see the words "partially hydrogenated" in front of any vegetable oil, the food contains trans fats"
  • Trans Fats Tops List of Heart Unhealthy Foods - WebMD, 7/13/01 - "That treat you love probably contains trans fats, which not only affect your cholesterol levels, but also may harm the functioning of your blood vessels. This dangerous combination may increase atherosclerosis, the hardening of your arteries ... A diet high in trans fats appears to be unhealthier than a diet that's "just high in saturated fats"
  • 'Bad' Fats Found in Processed Foods Linked to Diabetes Risk - WebMD, 6/8/01 - "Fats known as trans fatty acids, commonly seen in these foods, already have been linked to heart disease and high cholesterol. Now a study from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that limiting their consumption also can greatly lower diabetes risk"
  • High Trans Fatty Acid Intake Linked To Coronary Heart Disease - Doctor's Guide, 3/9/01
  • Trans Fatty Acids Enough of a Risk for the FDA to Consider New Labeling Laws - WebMD, 3/8/01 - "Increasingly, scientific evidence is demonstrating that eating foods containing trans fatty acids contributes to increases in LDL or "bad" cholesterol and decreases in HDL or "good" cholesterol. They also may have other negative effects on heart health. This is a major concern in North America, where intake of trans fatty acids, which are found not only in margarines but also in many baked goods as well as processed and fast foods, is high and where heart disease is the leading cause of death . . . a 2% increase in trans fatty acid intake causes a 25% jump in the risk of heart disease . . . you are not doing yourself any favors by substituting trans fatty acids for saturated fats" - I feel that the producers of these new "stanol" margarines are pulling a wall over customer's head because their products contain trans fatty acids.  See "partially hydrogenated soybean oil" on their ingredients list. - Ben
  • All Fats Are Not Created Equal, Trans Fats, Omega Fats, Good Fats, Bad Fats: Are You Confused? - WebMD, 7/4/00 - "Trans fats act very much like saturated fat in raising cholesterol levels. They also lower good HDL cholesterol, the protective cholesterol. ... Some people say they're actually worse than saturated fats"


  • Moderate Compared to Low Dietary Intake of trans-Fatty Acids Impairs Strength of Old and Aerobic Capacity of Young SAMP8 Mice in Both Sexes - Lipids. 2013 Aug 18 - "We studied the effects of trans-fatty acids (2 % of total energy, TFA diet) on the loss of strength and aerobic exercise capacity (VO2peak) with age. SAMP8 mice were studied at two ages (young, 25 weeks; old, 60 weeks) and on two diets (control vs TFA) ... There was a significant age-related decline in total grip strength as well as that normalized to fat-free mass (FFM) (p < 0.05) with a further decrease at old age in these metrics of strength on the TFA diet vs control diet"
  • trans Fatty Acid Intake Is Associated with Increased Risk and n3 Fatty Acid Intake with Reduced Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma - J Nutr. 2013 Mar 13 - "diets high in TFAs, processed meats, and higher fat dairy products were positively associated with NHL risk, whereas diets high in n3 fatty acids and total seafood were inversely associated with risk"
  • Nutrients and risk of prostate cancer - Nutr Cancer. 2010 Aug;62(6):710-8 - "Intake of trans fat was associated with the risk of PCa; the OR for the highest vs. the lowest quartile was 1.45 (95% CI = 1.16-1.81); the association was apparently stronger in subjects aged less than 65, normal weight men, and ever smokers. An increased risk was also observed with increasing intake of sucrose and disaccharides. In contrast, men in the highest quartile of cholesterol intake were at lower risk of PCa. No association was found with intake of total proteins, total fat, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, monosaccharides, and total carbohydrates. The findings provide evidence that a diet low in trans fat could reduce PCa risk"
  • Fat consumption and its association with age-related macular degeneration - Arch Ophthalmol. 2009 May;127(5):674-80 - "Higher trans-unsaturated fat intake was associated with an increased prevalence of late AMD; the odds ratio comparing the highest with the lowest quartile of trans fat was 1.76 (95% confidence interval, 0.92-3.37; P = .02). Higher omega-3 fatty acid intake (highest quartile vs lowest quartile) was inversely associated with early AMD (odds ratio, 0.85; 95% confidence interval, 0.71-1.02; P = .03). Olive oil intake (> or =100 mL/week vs <1 mL/week) was associated with decreased prevalence of late AMD (odds ratio, 0.48; 95% confidence interval, 0.22-1.04; P = .03). No significant associations with AMD were observed for intakes of fish, total fat, butter, or margarine" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids in patients with the metabolic syndrome: a case-control study in Korea - Br J Nutr. 2008 Feb 28;:1-6 - "trans fatty acids of erythrocytes (RBC) ... There were significant positive relationships between trans fatty acids and waist circumference, and between trans fatty acids and BMI. The results suggested that RBC trans fatty acids might be a predictor of increased risk for the metabolic syndrome, but n-3 fatty acids were not in this population"
  • A prospective study of trans-Fatty Acid levels in blood and risk of prostate cancer - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Jan;17(1):95-101 - "The relative risks (95% confidence intervals; P trend) comparing top with bottom quintile trans-fatty acid levels were 2.16 (1.12-4.17; 0.11) for 18:1n-9t, 1.97 (1.03-3.75; 0.01) for total 18:2t, and 2.21 (1.14-4.29; 0.06) for total trans-fatty acids"
  • Dietary Fats and the Risk of Incident Alzheimer Disease - Archives of Neurology, 2/03 - "Intakes of saturated fat and trans-unsaturated fat were positively associated with risk of Alzheimer disease, whereas intakes of -6 polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat were inversely associated. Persons in the upper fifth of saturated-fat intake had 2.2 times the risk of incident Alzheimer disease compared with persons in the lowest fifth" - See the tables on my fatty acids page.  For example, palm oil is 51% saturated fat while canola oil is 8% saturated.