Effect of trans-fatty acid intake on blood lipids and lipoproteins: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis

Systematic review

trans fatty acid cover photo

Publication details

Number of pages: 84
Publication date: 2016
Languages: English
ISBN: 978 92 4 151060 8



Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of death and were responsible for 38 million of the world’s 56 million deaths in 2012. Of the major NCDs, cardiovascular disease (CVD) was the leading cause of NCD mortality in 2012 and was responsible for nearly half of all NCD deaths. Modifiable risk factors such as poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol are major causes of CVD. Dietary trans-fatty acids are of particular concern as high levels of intake are correlated with increased risk of CVD.

Trans-fatty acids can be industrially produced by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable and fish oils, but also occur naturally in meat and dairy products from ruminant animals (e.g. cattle, sheep, goats, camels, etc.). Industrially-produced trans-fatty acids can be found in baked and fried foods, prepared snacks and partially hydrogenated cooking oils and spreads.

High levels of trans-fatty acid intake have a negative effect on the blood lipid profile, including elevation of LDL cholesterol, a well-accepted biomarker for risk of CVD.

Results of this systematic review show that replacing trans-fatty acids with other macronutrients, particularly polyunsaturated fatty acids, has a favourable effect on the blood lipid profile, including lowering of LDL cholesterol levels.

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