Trans Fats In the Diet Have a Negative Effect on Memory

Trans fatty acids do not occur naturally in foods, but are industrially produced to turn liquid oils into solids extending processed foods’ shelf life. They are found in  baked goods, snack foods, margarine, coffee creamers and other fast foods. Trans fats have been linked by  to a variety of health problems. The evidence that they have a negative impact on our health has been repeatedly demonstrated, and because of this the Food and Drug Administration is trying to limit the use of these synthetic trans fats in our  food supply.

In a study presented presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014 it has been shown that  dietary consumption of  trans fats  adversely affects memory  in young to middle-aged men. The study  with 1,000 healthy men found that  those who consumed the most trans fats had worse performance on a word recall memory test.  They were able to correctly recall less of the test words compared to those who did not consume as much trans fatty acids.

Beatrice  Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher , professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego says, “Trans fats were most strongly linked to worse memory, in young and middle-aged men, during their working and career-building years. From a health standpoint, trans fat consumption has been linked to higher body weight, more aggression and heart disease. As I tell patients, while trans fats increase the shelf life of foods, they reduce the shelf life of people.”

 The study  participants were asked to fill out a dietary questionnaire to assess their intake of trans fats. To test memory, each participant was shown 104 cards with words on them. Participants had to state whether each word was new or was repeated from a prior card. What the study data revealed was that those who ate the highest amounts of trans fats, showed a greater than 10 percent reduction in words correctly remembered compared to those who ate little trans fats.

 

For the best in Integrative Medicine call Henry C. Sobo, M.D., at 203-348-8805 or write us at [email protected]

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