Heart DiseaseTrans Fats

Higher trans fat levels in red blood cells associated with greater risk of heart disease

Since we don’t synthesize trans fatty acids, any amount found in red blood cells was put there as a result of dietary choices.

It’s a poor choice.

In a study at Harvard Medical School, blood samples were collected from more than 32,000 people.

  • During 6 years of monitoring, 166 cases of coronary heart disease were compared to 327 controls.
  • Total trans fatty acid content in red blood cells was significantly correlated with dietary intake of trans fat and associated with increased LDL (bad) cholesterol and decreased HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • Those with the highest trans fatty acid levels had triple the risk of coronary heart disease compared to people with the lowest levels.
  • Even after adjusting for the effects of age, smoking status, and other dietary and lifestyle risk factors, higher total trans fatty acid levels in red blood cells were associated with an elevated risk of coronary heart disease.

The bottom line?
The results support efforts to ban trans fats and are just one more reason to think more about what you eat.

Click the link on the right side bar to read more about trans fatty acids or go here.

4/2/07 16:55 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.