Trans fats and health - quotes
The Harvard School of Public Health
"By our most conservative estimate, replacement of partially hydrogenated fat in the U.S. diet with natural unhydrogenated vegetable oils would prevent approximately 30,000 premature coronary deaths per year, and epidemiologic evidence suggests this number is closer to 100,000 premature deaths annually."
"Five years ago evidence was strong that trans fat had deleterious impacts on blood lipids; ensuing studies have confirmed these metabolic findings and strengthened epidemiologic support for an important adverse effect on risk of coronary heart disease. These data highlight the need for rapid implementation of labeling requirements that include fast foods. Because partially hydrogenated fats can be eliminated from the food supply by changes in processing that do not require major efforts in education and behavioral modification, these changes would be an extremely efficient and rapid method for substantially reducing rates of coronary disease."
Both quotes from Trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease.
Danish Nutrition Council
"Since 1994 the contribution of a high intake of industrially produced trans fatty acids to the risk of coronary heart disease has gained further support partly due to the results from 4 large prospective population studies. The results suggest that the intake of trans fatty acids compaed to saturated fatty acids per gram is associated with a 10-fold higher risk increment for the development of coronary heart disease. A negative effect of trans fatty acids on the human fetus and newborns has been further substantiated. The possible effect of trans fatty acids on cancer has not yet been settled. Data from epidemiological studies and from studies on the effect of insulin suggest that trans fatty acids increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Recent findings justify further studies concerning the effect of trans fatty acids on the development of allergic diseases in children, and of specific trans fatty acids' effect on body fat distribution and on insulin sensitivity ... The Danish Nutrition Council recommends that addition of industrially produced trans fatty acids to foodstuffs ceases soonest possible."
From The influence of trans fatty acids on health - 2003 update, 10/03/2003 (Summary).
Professor Robert L. Wolke
"suffice it to say that trans fatty acids are b-a-a-a-d. They raise your total blood cholesterol level and your LDL, or bad cholesterol; lower your HDL, or good cholesterol; and are suspected of contributing to obesity and diabetes. "
Robert L. Wolke (www.professorscience.com) is professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. From letter to the Washington Post, August 20, 2003; Page F01.
Fran Mc Cullough
"... trans fats, the damaged fats that become, in effect, poisonous, toxic to the cell membranes they are attached to. Studies have shown them to be key factors in heart disease (because among other things they raise LDL - the bad cholesterol - and lower HDL - the good). They also inhibit insulin from binding to the cells, which creates blood sugar problems that lead to diabetes and obesity... "
This quote is taken from Fran McCullough's book, The Good Fat Cookbook.
The Institute of Medicine
"There is a positive linear trend between trans fatty acid intake and total and LDL cholesterol concentration, and therefore increased risk of CHD, thus suggesting a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of zero ... it is recommended that trans fatty acid consumption be as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet. "
From Letter Report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Trans Fatty Acids, IoM 2002.
Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., F.A.C.N. Director, Nutritional Sciences Division Enig Associates, Inc.
"Because trans fatty acids disrupt cellular function, they affect many enzymes such as the delta-6 desaturase and consequently interfere with the necessary conversions of both the omega-6 and the omega-3 essential fatty acids to their elongated forms and consequently escalate the adverse effects of essential fatty acid deficiency... "
"More than a decade of research at the University of Maryland, as well as research that was being done at other institutions, showed that consumption of trans fatty acids from partially hydrogenated (a process that adds hydrogen to solidify or harden) vegetable fats and oils had many adverse effects in health areas such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, immunity, reproduction and lactation, and obesity."
Mary G. Enig, is Director of Nutritional Sciences Division Enig Associates, Inc..
Dr Dane Roubos, B.Sc., D.C., D.A.B.C.I.,
"A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a dramatic difference between the heart-disease rates of populations in northern and southern India. [ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1967, 20:462-475 ] The northerners were meat-eaters and had high cholesterol levels. Their main source of dietary fat was ghee (clarified butter). The southerners were vegetarians and had much lower cholesterol levels. Present-day 'wisdom' would predict the vegetarians to have the lower rate of heart disease, but, in fact, the opposite was true. The vegetarians had 15 times the rate of heart disease when compared to their northern counterparts! What was the reason for this surprising difference?
"Aside from meat versus vegetables, the major dietary difference was that the southerners had replaced their traditional ghee (a real food) with margarine and refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Twenty years later, the British medical journal the Lancet noted an increase in heart-attack deaths amongst the northern Indians. [ The Lancet, 14 November 1987 ] The northerners had also largely replaced the ghee in their diets with margarine and refined vegetable oils."
Dr Dane Roubos, B.Sc., D.C., D.A.B.C.I., is a nutritionist and chiropractor. From The Great Margarine Hoax; http://drcranton.com/nutrition/margarin.htm.
The UK Food Standards Agency
"The trans fats found in food containing hydrogenated vegetable oil are harmful and have no known nutritional benefits. They raise the type of cholesterol in the blood that increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Some evidence suggests that the effects of these trans fats may be worse than saturated fats. It's important to try to eat less of both saturated fat and trans fats."
From website: www.food.gov.uk.
The World Health Organisation
"Cardiovascular diseases, the major killers worldwide, are to a great extent due to unbalanced diets and physical inactivity. Risk of their main forms, heart disease andstroke, is reduced by eating less saturated and trans fats, and sufficient amounts of (n-3and n-6) polyunsaturated fats, fruits and vegetables and less salt, as well as by physicalactivity and controlling weight. Reduction of salt intake helps reduce blood pressure, amajor cause of cardiovascular diseases."
From Executive Summary, Joint WHO/FAO expert report on diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic disease. Download (.pdf) at www.who.int/hpr/NPH/docs/who_fao_exsum_en.pdf.
"Trans-fatty acids should provide no more than 2% of dietary energy."
From Food consumption pattern in the Islamic Republic of Iran and its relation to coronary heart disease. View at www.emro.who.int/Publications/EMHJ/0403/4315.htm.
"Dietary fats and CVD - The key message here is that it is not just the quantity of fats that needs to be adjusted for a healthy diet but the quality of the fat. The consumption of certain types of fat can either be strongly adverse or strongly beneficial. There is a consistent association of the adverse effects of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol on vascular disease. The total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ratio is the strongest predictor of the risk of coronary heart disease. Intake of dietary cholesterol should be kept below 300g/day. Multiple studies have corroborated that trans-fatty acids are probably one of the most dangerous elements in the diet for atherosclerotic risk, as they have a combined effect of increasing LDL cholesterol and decreasing protective HDL. Deep-fried fast foods and baked goods containing hydrogenated fats are major sources."
From WHO global strategy on diet, physical activity and health: South-East Asia regional consultation meeting report, New Delhi, India, 10- 12 March 2003. Download (.pdf) at www.who.int/hpr/NPH/docs/regional_consultation_report_searo.pdf.
"An estimated 16.6 million - or one-third of total global deaths - result from the various forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD), many of which are preventable by action on the major primary risk factors: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and smoking. More than 50% of the deaths and disability from heart disease and strokes, which together kill more than 12 million people each year, can be cut by a combination of simple, cost-effective national efforts and individual actions to reduce major risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking ... Compelling evidence indicates that at least three dietary strategies are effective in preventing CVD, and in helping manage the disease:
- Substitute nonhydrogenated unsaturated fats (especially polyunsaturated fat) for saturated and trans-fats; increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil or plant sources;
- Consume a diet high in fruits vegetables, nuts and whole grains, and low in refined grains; avoid excessively salty or sugary foods;
- At least 30 minutes of regular physical activity daily; avoid smoking; maintain a healthy weight."
From website: www.who.int/hpr/gs.fs.cvds.shtml.
Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services, US Government
"Trans fat is bad fat. The less trans fat people eat, the healthier they will be."
Trans Fat Press Conference, 9 July 2003. See at www.hhs.gov/news/speech/2003/030709.html
Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA)
"A number of recent studues, both experimental and epidemiological, indicate that trans fatty acids, particularly those from margarines and cooking fats, may have undesirable effects not only on plasma LDL and HDL cholesterol, but also on Lp(a) and CHD mortality (see 6.2.5). The average intake of of trans fatty acids, at present, is about 2 per cent of food energy, or about 5g per day. We recommend that, on average, trans fatty acids should provide no more than the current average of about 2% of dietary energy and that consideration should be given to ways of decreasing the amount present in the diet."
"Willet et al reported findings from the Nurses Health Study, a prospective study involving more than 85,000 women, showing that intake of trans fatty acids was significantly and independently associated with incidence of CHD. The association was only seen for for trans fatty isomers from hydrogenated vegetable oils. The mainly different trans isomers from ruminant fats did not show such an association. A case-control study in 239 people suffering an acute myocardial infarction found that after adjustment for age, sex and energy intake, intake of trans fatty acids was directly related to risk of myocardial infarction. Those with the highest intake of trans fatty acids had twice the risk of myocardial infarction as those with the lowest intakes after adjusting for other cardiovascular risk factors. As with the Nurses Health Study, the association was only seen for trans isomers from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils."
Both quotes from: Department of Health (1994) Nutritional Aspects of Cardiovascular Disease, Report of the Cardiovascular Review Group of the Committee of Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA). Report No. 46. London: HMSO. See longer extracts about trans fats here.
Thomas Anderson, Ph.D., B.C.
It's important to understand that trans fats and saturated fats are completely different from one another and actually have opposite effects on health. The food industry's latest trick is to imply that both are "bad" and should be avoided. This is a very dangerous deception, given that the fats in fresh meats and dairy foods are important nutritionally, they lower the most significant risk factors for heart disease - including BP, Lipoprotein(a) and homocysteine - they raise protective HDL, and they reduce the risk for inflammatory related disorders such as asthma and arthritis.
The only fats we truly need to be worried about are the oils made into margarine and shortening and used for deep frying. These are added fats, they are not part of any natural food, and they are the only fats ever linked to any disease.