Washington D.C.: As per a new study, not all trans fatty acids are bad for you.
New research suggests that low levels of trans fatty acids (TFAs) may not be as harmful to human health as previously thought, even if industrially produced, and may even be beneficial if they occur naturally in foods such as dairy and meat products.
Artificial TFAs occur when oil goes through a process of hydrogenation, which makes the oil more solid. They are used as ingredients in processed foods, such as cakes, biscuits and pies, and for frying.
Marcus Kleber said that they found that higher concentrations of TFAs in the membranes of red blood cells were associated with higher LDL or 'bad' cholesterol, but also with lower BMI, lower fats in the blood (triglycerides) and less insulin resistance and, therefore, a lower risk of diabetes.
He added that they were surprised to find that naturally occurring TFAs were associated with a lower rate of deaths from any cause, and this was driven mainly by a lower risk of sudden cardiac death.
Kleber noted that the results show that the low levels of industrially produced TFA we found in the LURIC study did not pose a health risk, and therefore could be regarded as safe. We also found that trans-palmitoleic acid (a naturally occurring TFA found in milk and meat from ruminant animals) is associated with better blood glucose levels and fewer deaths from any cause, but especially a lower risk of sudden cardiac death.
The study appears in European Heart Journal.