The effects of TRANS fats on health PART 2

The effects of TRANS fats on health PART 2

If the TRANS fatty acids level is particularly high, then the essential fatty acid metabolism can be disturbed, with the alterations of cell membranes and vascular integrity function.

There is evidence that TRANS fatty acids from mothers food cross the placenta during pregnancy, disturbing the essential fatty acids metabolism in the fetus and the newborn.

Because the breast milk is the only source of nutrition for infants and the breastfeeding should last at least 12 months, breast milk lipids quality presents a critical importance for the development of the baby. Knowing this, the content of TRANS fatty acids in the breastmilk should be reduced or even excluded, which can be achieved avoiding margarine, fried oils and animal products.

About the effects of TRANS fatty acids on plasma lipids, numerous studies reached the following conclusions:

  • TRANS fatty acids increase LDL cholesterol concentrations to the same extent as saturated fatty acids, myristic and palmitic;
  • TRANS fatty acids decrease HDL cholesterol concentrations (“good” cholesterol).

TRANS fatty acids increase the plasma levels of lipoprotein (a) an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease, particularly in those who already have elevated plasma levels of this lipoprotein.

TRANS fatty acids also increase the triglyceride plasma levels.

Also, disturbs the desaturation and elongation of the essential fatty acids and lower arachidonic acid levels in fatty tissues.

Numerous data show that TRANS fatty acids also influences the endocrine pancreas. The overexposure of the Lagerhans islands from the pancreas to large amounts of TRANS fatty acids alter the insulin release.

Researchers at the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Aarhus University, Denmark, have shown that the insulin secretion is influenced by the spatial configuration of fatty acids.

TRANS fatty acids stimulates more the postprandial secretion of insulin than those with CIS configuration, which, in time, lead to beta cell depletion with the emergence of type 2 diabetes. So, TRANS fatty acids alter the function of pancreatic cells that secrets insulin.

In the alimentation of those who regularly use sunflower oil, corn germ or soy, the ratio linoleic acid / linolenic acid is about 20/1, when, ideally, should be 2/1. But converting linoleic acid to gamma-linolenic acid is blocked by theTRANS fatty acids. These unnatural fatty acids can disturb the polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis with long chain  and  to diminish the maintaining and the biosynthesis of several bone tissue proteins.

Extending the life of products on stores shelves, allowing the preparation at high temperature, TRANS fatty acids are loved by the food industry, however, from the health point of view, are a disaster. At the same weight, or quantity, TRANS acids are two to four times more harmful than the saturated fatty acids.

Increasing the LDL and lowering the HDL, TRANS fatty acids accentuates the risk of coronary heart disease. Altering the lipoprotein receptors, they lead to hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, obesity and resistance to insulin, favoring the emergence of type 2 diabetes.

Representing 4% of total calories consumed by North America population, TRANS fatty acids produce 10% of deaths by heart disease. There, 90% of TRANS fatty acids are from industrially prepared food and the fried , and 10% from meat and dairy products.

If the data presented were too numerous, at least to retain  following:

  • fatty acids formed from the hydrogenation of vegetable oils to manufacture margarine, can constitute up to 40% of the fat in some foods, especially in the bakery and pastry products;
  • Dairy products constitute perhaps the most important source of TRANS fat from our alimentation, in other words, avoiding the margarine is not enough.
Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition

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