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trans fat

I have been hearing alot lately about trans fat and how bad it is for your heart and arteries. Exactly was is it and what foods is it found in? Thankyou, Danielle
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Avatar universal

Some trans fatty acids occur naturally in foods, especially those of animal origin, although most trans fatty acid consumption is a result of the industrial hydrogenation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Partial hydrogenation results in fats that are easier to cook with and spoil less easily than naturally occurring oils.

The chemical configuration of trans fatty acids confers harmful effects, including adverse influences on blood LDL- and HDL-cholesterol concentrations. Compared with a butter-enriched diet, diets relatively higher in trans fat result in smaller reductions in LDL-cholesterol and larger reductions in HDL-cholesterol. The stick margarine diet results in a total:HDL cholesterol ratio that is 4 percent higher than a high saturated fat diet. The diets with the most favorable lipid profiles were the soybean and liquid margarine diets, characterized by low amounts of both saturated and trans fatty acids.

By comparison, consumption of saturated fats also raises the LDL cholesterol concentration, but does not lower HDL. Thus, while saturated fats adversely affect the lipid profile, they may not be as harmful as trans fatty acids.

Trans fatty acids may also interfere with the desaturation and elongation of n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids. These are important for the prevention of heart disease and complications of pregnancy.

Some studies have linked the consumption of trans fatty acids, or foods that contain them, with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. In an analysis from the Nurses' Health Study, for each increase of 2 percent of energy from trans fat, the relative risk for incident coronary heart disease was 1.93 (95 percent confidence interval 1.43 to 2.61). Total fat intake was not related to the risk of coronary disease.

There are no known physiologic benefits related to the consumption of trans fatty acids; thus, reduction in their intake makes sense. Today's margarines, which are generally softer than the older varieties, contain less trans fatty acids than previously. However, trans fatty acids are still a major component of many commercial baked goods, such as cookies and cakes, and most deep-fried foods. A clue to their presence is the words "partially hydrogenated" on the list of package ingredients.

Avatar universal
What about the fatty acids in fish oil? Is there any bad components in the oil or is the word "trans" the key? Thanks...
Avatar universal
"Trans fatty acids may also interfere with the desaturation and elongation of n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids. These are important for the prevention of heart disease and complications of pregnancy."

Thank you! I've commented that consumption of transfat acids can interfere omega-3 metabolism. That's why I avoid transfat acids as much as I can while getting enough omega-3 acids which has proven to reduce the risk of deadly arrythmia *significantly*.

Avatar universal
Found a study that claims that fish oil reduces PVC's. This is the first study I've come across regarding PVC's:

The ultimate supplement for heart health
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. Researchers at the Mid America Heart Institute have come out strongly in favor of routine fish or fish oil supplementation for heart patients and people at risk for heart disease. The researchers summarize the results of a large number of clinical trials which have clearly shown that fish oil supplementation or increased fish consumption can reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 20- 50% or more. They believe that fish oils (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) exert their protective effect by preventing fatal ventricular arrhythmias, by increasing heart rate variability, decreasing fibrinogen and platelet counts (important in preventing blood clotting) and by reducing blood pressure. <b>A recent trial found that fish oils are highly effective in reducing ventricular premature complexes (missed heart beats) and they have also been found to counteract the arrhythmia-inducing properties of eicosanoids derived from arachidonic acid.</b> The US Food and Drug Administration recently reviewed the safety profile of EPA and DHA and concludes that a combined daily intake of these two essential fatty acids of up to 3 grams per day is safe. The Heart Institute researchers point out that fish oils are effective in relatively small doses (approximately 1 gram/day) and have no adverse interactions with other heart drugs. They conclude "After 25 years of research, we believe that sufficient evidence is now available to recommend not only fish for cardiac patients, but also specifically EPA and DHA."
O'Keefe, Jr., James H. and Harris, William S. Omega-3 fatty acids: time for clinical implementation? American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 85, May 15, 2000, pp. 1239-41
O'Keefe, Jr., James H. and Harris, William S. From Inuit to implementation: omega-3 fatty acids come of age. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Vol. 75, June 2000, pp. 607-14 [85 references]

Avatar universal
Found another study claiming that fish oil reduces PVC's:

"A placebo-controlled, double blind study was conducted to assess the effect of dietary (n-3) PUFA on the frequency of ventricular premature complexes in patients with good ventricular function who experienced frequent but not life threatening ventricular arrhythmias. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either fish oil (a total of 2.4 g (n-3) PUFA/d containing 1.5 g EPA and 0.9 g DHA) for 16 wk or sunflower seed oil as placebo. [b]They found that ventricular premature complexes decreased by 48% in the fish oil group and by 25% in the placebo group.[/b]"


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