The negative effects of hydrogenated trans fats and what to do about them

Department of Bioscience, University of Illinois, Urbana, 61801, United States.
Atherosclerosis (Impact Factor: 3.99). 04/2009; 205(2):458-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2009.03.009
Source: PubMed


Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils have been in the American diet since 1900. More than 50 years ago they were found to contain trans fatty acids that were different from natural fatty acids in plant oils and in animal fat. There was growing evidence that the consumption of trans fats have negative health effects, including increasing plasma lipid levels. In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that the amount of trans fat in a food item must be stated on the label after January 1, 2006; food items could be labeled 0% trans if they contain less than 0.5g/serving. Since the initial ruling, it is now known that the fatty acids in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil are 14 cis and trans isomers of octadecenoic and octadecadienoic acids that are formed during hydrogenation. They cause inflammation and calcification of arterial cells: known risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). They inhibit cyclooxygenase, an enzyme required for the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostacyclin, necessary for the regulation of blood flow. There have been several reformulations of hydrogenated fat containing varying amounts of trans fatty acids and linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that is converted to arachidonic acid. Epidemiological data suggest that when trans fat percentages go up and linoleic acid percentages go down, death rates rise; when trans goes down, death rates go down. In spite of the harmful effects of trans fats, the FDA allows it in the food supply as long as the amount in a food item is declared on the label. Trans fat should be banned from the food supply.

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    • "Today, it is a requirement of government agencies to determine the level of trans fatty acids (TFA) in foods, to guide consumers on the lipid composition, especially those who suffer from heart problems, obesity or hypertension. The elaidic acid (EA) is a common TFA in processed foods, its effect on the human metabolism is related to its ability to inhibit the action of desaturase enzymes, thereby impairing the conversion of linoleic acid into arachidonic acid (Kummerow, 2009). It has been reported that trans fatty acids derived from industrial hydrogenation of vegetable oils is expressed in EA, since it comprises 80e100% of the TFA present in processed products that use hydrogenated vegetable fat (Mossoba, Moss, & Kramer, 2009; Silva & Ferraz, 2006; Tavella et al., 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: In the present work, an alternative method for trans fatty acids (TFA) analysis with direct UV detection using capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE-UV) is proposed. The background electrolyte used consisted of 12.0 mmol L−1 of tetraborate buffer, 12.0 mmol L−1 of Brij 35, 33% methanol and 17% acetonitrile. Trans fatty acids in different samples such as butter toffee, cake mix, stuffed wafers, chocolate and a mix for Brazilian cheese bread were successfully quantified within an analysis time of 13 min, taking into account the statistical approach based on response factor calculation using C19:1 (nonadecaenoic acid) as internal standard. The statistical comparison between CZE-UV and the classical GC method for the analyzed samples did not present significant differences within the 95% confidence interval.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Food Control
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    • "Results published in recent years indicate the importance of food FA composition in human nutrition and health [5, 7]. In general, it is recommended to increase the intake of n-3 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs) and to decrease the intake of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and TFAs because TFAs affect cholesterol levels in much the same ways as saturated and trans fats increase your risk of developing coronary artery and heart diseases [8, 9]. This association between the dietary consumption of some FAs and increased risk of some diseases has led to the implementation of new regulations that require the declaration of FAs, including TFA content, on the labels of conventional foods and dietary supplements in several countries [2, 3, 10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Two different procedures for the methylation of fatty acids (FAs) and trans fatty acids (TFAs) in food fats were compared using gas chromatography (GC-FID). The base-catalyzed followed by an acid-catalyzed method (KOCH3/HCl) and the base-catalyzed followed by (trimethylsilyl)diazomethane (TMS-DM) method were used to prepare FA methyl esters (FAMEs) from lipids extracted from food products. In general, both methods were suitable for the determination of cis/trans FAs. The correlation coefficients (r) between the methods were relatively small (ranging from 0.86 to 0.99) and had a high level of agreement for the most abundant FAs. The significant differences (P = 0.05) can be observed for unsaturated FAs (UFAs), specifically for TFAs. The results from the KOCH3/HCl method showed the lowest recovery values (%R) and higher variation (from 84% to 112%), especially for UFAs. The TMS-DM method had higher R values, less variation (from 90% to 106%), and more balance between variation and %RSD values in intraday and interday measurements (less than 4% and 6%, resp.) than the KOCH3/HCl method, except for C12:0, C14:0, and C18:0. Nevertheless, the KOCH3/HCl method required shorter time and was less expensive than the TMS-DM method which is more convenient for an accurate and thorough analysis of rich cis/trans UFA samples.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · The Scientific World Journal
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    • "Consumption of TFA increases the plasma cholesterol concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) like saturated fatty acids (SFA) do and decreases high-density lipoprotein (HDL), compared with consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (de Roos, Bots, & Katan, 2001; Mensink, Zock, Kester, & Katan, 2003). Some TFA have been proven to calcify cells and cause inflammation of the arteries, so as to inhibit the enzyme which converts arachidonic acid to an eicosanoid that is necessary to prevent blood clots in the arteries and veins (Kummerow, 2009). Also TFA have been related with an increased risk of cancer, although the results are inconclusive due to their long-term effect in the organism (Chajès et al., 2008; Kim et al., 2006; Slattery, Benson, Ma, Schaffer, & Potter, 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Trans fatty acids (TFA) are strongly correlated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Current dietary recommendations exclude bakery products from frequent consumption basically due to their traditionally high content of TFA. The aim of this work was to analyse the lipid profile of different bakery products currently commercialised in Spain and with a conventionally high fat and TFA content. Premium and store brands for each product were included in the study. No significant amounts of TFA were found in any of the analysed products, regardless the brand. TFA content ranged between 0.17g and 0.22g/100g product (mean=0.19g/100g product). Expressed on percentage of fatty acids, the maximum value was 0.87g/100g fatty acids and the mean value was 0.68%. These data are significantly lower than those observed in previously published papers for these types of products, and highlighted the importance of updating food composition databases in order to accurately estimate the real and current intake of TFA.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Food Chemistry
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