Trans Fat Consumption and Aggression

Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 03/2012; 7(3):e32175. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032175
Source: PubMed


Dietary trans fatty acids (dTFA) are primarily synthetic compounds that have been introduced only recently; little is known about their behavioral effects. dTFA inhibit production of omega-3 fatty acids, which experimentally have been shown to reduce aggression. Potential behavioral effects of dTFA merit investigation. We sought to determine whether dTFA are associated with aggression/irritability.

Methodolgy/Prinicpal Findings
We capitalized on baseline dietary and behavioral assessments in an existing clinical trial to analyze the relationship of dTFA to aggression. Of 1,018 broadly sampled baseline subjects, the 945 adult men and women who brought a completed dietary survey to their baseline visit are the target of this analysis. Subjects (seen 1999–2004) were not on lipid medications, and were without LDL-cholesterol extremes, diabetes, HIV, cancer or heart disease. Outcomes assessed adverse behaviors with impact on others: Overt Aggression Scale Modified-aggression subscale (primary behavioral endpoint); Life History of Aggression; Conflict Tactics Scale; and self-rated impatience and irritability. The association of dTFA to aggression was analyzed via regression and ordinal logit, unadjusted and adjusted for potential confounders (sex, age, education, alcohol, and smoking). Additional analyses stratified on sex, age, and ethnicity, and examined the prospective association. Greater dTFA were strongly significantly associated with greater aggression, with dTFA more consistently predictive than other assessed aggression predictors. The relationship was upheld with adjustment for confounders, was preserved across sex, age, and ethnicity strata, and held cross-sectionally and prospectively.

This study provides the first evidence linking dTFA with behavioral irritability and aggression. While confounding is always a concern in observational studies, factors including strength and consistency of association, biological gradient, temporality, and biological plausibility add weight to the prospect of a causal connection. Our results may have relevance to public policy determinations regarding dietary trans fats. # NCT00330980

Download full-text


Available from: Beatrice Golomb, Jun 27, 2014
  • Source
    • "There are also multiple lines of evidence to support the hypothesis that vulnerability to anger is influenced by AA/EPA + DHA. Homicide rates amongst countries correlate with lower seafood intake [50]; low dietary intake of LCn−3 correlates with increased hostility in young urban adults [51]; lower levels of LCn−3 correlate with elevated hostility in drug-free schizophrenia subjects [52]; and trans fatty acids, which are associated with lower LCn−3 levels, correlate with increased irritability and aggression in adults [53]. Lower LCn−3 levels are associated with aggression [54], with poor affective regulation and impulse control [55], and with increased rejection of unfair offers in a neuro-economic task [56]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Anger worsens in some patients during interferon-alpha (IFN-α) therapy. Elevated anger has also been associated with lower long-chain omega-3 (LCn-3) fatty acid levels. We examined whether fatty acids could influence vulnerability to anger during IFN-α exposure. Plasma arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels were determined prior to IFN-α therapy by mass spectroscopy. Repeated-measure analyses examined the relationship between AA/EPA+DHA and the subsequent development of labile anger and irritability in 82 subjects who prospectively completed the Anger, Irritability, and Assault Questionnaire (AIAQ) during the first eight weeks of IFN-α therapy. Prior to IFN-α therapy, AA/EPA+DHA did not correlate with either labile anger or irritability. Pre-treatment AA/EPA+DHA did correlate with the subsequent maximal increase in labile anger during IFN-α therapy (r=0.33; p=0.005). Over time, labile anger increased more in subjects with above median AA/EPA+DHA ratios (p<0.05). Of the 17 subjects ultimately requiring psychiatric intervention for anger, 14/17 had above-median AA/EPA+DHA ratios (p=0.009). There was also an interaction with the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) promoter polymorphism (A-308G), such that only those with both elevated AA/EPA+DHA and the A allele had increased labile anger (p=0.001). In an additional 18 subjects, we conversely observed that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment was associated with increased irritability during IFN-α therapy. LCn-3 fatty acid status may influence anger development during exposure to elevated inflammatory cytokines, and may interact with genetic risk for increased brain TNF-α. LCn-3 supplements may be one strategy for minimizing this adverse side effect of IFN-α.
    Journal of Psychosomatic Research 11/2013; 75(5):475-83. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.07.012 · 2.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The relationship between other types of fatty acids and depression has been poorly studied. There is some evidence which may link depression and SFA as well as trans fatty acids (TFA) intake [96, 97]. First, the simultaneous increment in the prevalence of depression and dietary changes toward “western dietary pattern,” which is rich in SFA and TFA, might be one of the most important evidence. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is a bidirectional adverse association between diabetes and depression. The odds for experiencing depressive symptoms in diabetic patients are two times more than nondiabetic persons, and depression is an independent predictor for the onset of diabetes. However, depression has been approximately unrecognized and untreated in two-thirds of diabetic patients, which may lead to worsened diabetes complications. A cornerstone strategy for managing depression among diabetic patients is the use of diet to improve both health problems. Because of similar pathophysiology for chronic diseases and depression, it seems that similar dietary recommendations could be useful. However, few studies have been conducted among diabetic patients. Regarding the complications of diabetes such as renal diseases and coronary heart diseases, the proper range of various macronutrients should be clarified in depressed diabetic patients as well as the proper type of each macronutrient. In this paper, we reviewed the available data on the treatment of depression in diabetic patients.
    Journal of Diabetes Research 09/2013; 2013(6):421832. DOI:10.1155/2013/421832 · 2.16 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: The pathways for development of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are sedentary behaviour, common dietary habits of the Western world, tobacco use, stress, and alcoholism among individuals and populations with underlying lack of general and health education. However, some experts have observed that poverty is the primary cause of disability and deaths due to NCDs. This study examines the association of social class and social determinants of health as risk factors for deaths due to NCDs. Subjects and methods: Randomly selected death records of 2,222 (1,385 men and 837 women) decedents, aged 25-64 years at time of death, out of 3,034 death records, were studied by verbal autopsy questionnaires, during 1999-2001 from the records at the Municipal Corporation in Moradabad. All the risk factors were assessed by questionnaires which werecompleted with the help of the victim's spouse and a local treating doctor practising in the concerned field. Social classes were assessed, based on attributes of per capita income, occupation, education, housing, and ownership of consumer luxury items in the household. Poverty was considered if the total family income was <US$300.00 per month. Lack of knowledge on health education about the role of exercise, prudent diet, and adverse effects of tobacco use and alcoholism was studied by the validated questionnaires. Results: This study shows that sedentary behaviour, excess salt intake, and other typical Western dietary habits were significantly more common among decedents belonging to higher social classes 1-3, compared to those within lower social classes 4 and 5. Lack of knowledge regarding health education was significantly more common among decedents in lower social classes, who died more often due to communicable diseases. The study also revealed that deaths associated with diabetes mellitus and due to circulatory diseases were significantly more common among higher social classes 1-3, compared to lower social classes 4 and 5. However, deaths due to malignant diseases and chronic lung diseases were not associated with social class (except the social class of women with breast cancer), but total proportion of deaths due to NCDs including these causes were significantly greater among higher social classes 1-3, compared to lower social classes 4 and 5. The findings indicate that sedentary behaviour, typical Western diet, and excessive salt intake, in conjunction with underlying lack of health education, may be the predisposing factors for deaths among decedents of higher social classes 1-3. Among lower social classes 4 and 5, general lack of health education may have caused more deaths due to communicable diseases, as well as injury and accidents. Conclusions: This study shows that lack of health education appears to be the major cause of deaths due to circulatory diseases and diabetes mellitus among higher social classes 1-3, whereas among lower social classes, this may be the underlying cause of deaths due to communicable diseases. Malignant diseases and chronic lung diseases were common among all social classes.
    World Heart Journal 01/2012; 4(2-3):221.
Show more