Trans Fatty Acids and Heart Disease

According to research appearing in the European Journal of Medical Research, (2003; 8(8):355-7), consuming trans fatty acids increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Consumption of them can cause a decrease of HDL cholesterol (commonly called by lay people, the “good” cholesterol). Increasing consumption of trans fats to 10% of caloric energy decreased HDL by 21%. Consumption of trans fatty acid also impaired dilation of the coronary arteries.

Also, it has been found that consumption of certain fats increases a pro-inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines in with heart failure. It had been shown that dietary fat intake affects cytokine levels in healthy patients, and research appearing in the Journal of Cardiac Failure (2005; 11(8):613-8) suggests that the type of fat consumed by patients suffering from heart failure affects their cytokine levels, adversely affecting their condition.

In the Journal of  Nutrition,  (2005; 135(3):562-6), research shows that the consumption of trans fatty acids could adversely affect the cells lining the blood vessels—possibly leading to plaquing. This may explain why the connection between trans fat consumption and heart disease goes beyond the adverse effect it has on cholesterol levels.

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