Trans Fats and You - Part 1  

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Health News: Trans Fats & Colon Cancer

Here are a few more examples of studies on the health effects of trans fats.

A major comprehensive study was published in April 2006 in the New England Journal of Medicine. It included the following: On a per-calorie basis, trans fats appear to increase the risk of coronary heart disease more than any other macronutrient, conferring a substantially increased risk, even at low levels of consumption (1 to 3 percent of total calories). A 2% increase in energy intake from trans fatty acids was associated with a 23% increase in the incidence of coronary heart disease.

In a cross-over diet trial, scientists took 29 healthy men and women and put some of them on a diet high in trans fat (in the form of partially hydrogenated soybean oil), and others on a diet high in saturated fat (in the form of palm kernel oil). After four weeks on their respective diets, the subjects were switched to the other diet. For each subject, the researchers took four measurements of artery dilation in the arm. They found that the ability of the blood vessels to dilate was 29 percent lower in people who ate the high trans fat diet compared to those on the saturated fat diet. Blood levels of HDL cholesterol (that's the good cholesterol)were 21 percent lower in the high trans fat group compared to the high saturated fat group. (A recent study indicates that keeping HDL cholesterol high may help to reduce the risk of clot-related stroke in elderly men. Click here for information.)

Click here for a study about the role of trans fats and systemic inflammation in heart failure.

In a study in Australia, scientists got dietary information and fat biopsy samples from 79 people who had just had their first heart attack. The researchers also got dietary information and biopsies from 167 people without heart problems. The researchers specifically questioned the participants about the type and amount of fat's they ate. The heart patients and healthy individuals were matched for age, gender, and socioeconomic background. Trans fats were found in significantly higher amounts in the fat tissue taken from the heart attack patients than in the fat tissue of the healthy volunteers. The connection between heart attack risk and trans fats remained even after scientists made statistical adjustments for the supposed detrimental affects of saturated fats in the diet.

In a study in Seattle, 179 cases aged 25 to 74 were out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients attended by paramedics in Seattle from 1988 to 1999. 285 controls, matched to the 179 cases by age and sex, were randomly identified from the community. Participants were free of previous clinically diagnosed heart disease. Blood was obtained at the time of cardiac arrest (cases) or at the time of an interview (controls) to assess trans fat intake. Higher total trans fat in red blood cell membranes was associated with a modest increase in the risk of primary cardiac arrest after adjustment for medical and lifestyle risk factors. Trans isomers of linoleic acid were associated with a three-fold increase in risk.

One 2007 study found, "Each 2% increase in the intake of energy from trans unsaturated fats, as opposed to that from carbohydrates, was associated with a 73% greater risk of ovulatory infertility.

An increased intake of trans-fatty acids may raise the risk of breast cancer by 75 per cent, suggest the results from the French part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. And one recent study has found connections between trans fat and prostate cancer.

And research from Wake Forest University indicates that trans fats make you fatter than other foods with the same number of calories -- but that's not all. They found that trans fats increase the amount of fat around the belly. They do this not just by adding new fat, but also by moving fat from other areas to the belly.

"Trans fat is worse than anticipated," Wake Forest researcher Lawrence L. Rudel, PhD, says in a news release. "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."

[Read part 2 HERE and part 3 HERE]


This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 and is filed under . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .