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Meta-regression analysis of the effect of trans fatty acids on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Abstract: We conducted a meta-regression of controlled clinical trial data to investigate quantitatively the relationship between dietary intake of industrial trans fatty acids (iTFA) and increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Previous regression analyses included insufficient data to determine the nature of the dose response in the low-dose region and have nonetheless assumed a linear relationship between iTFA intake and LDL-C levels. This work contributes to the previous work by 1) including additional studies examining low-dose intake (identified using an evidence mapping procedure); 2) investigating a range of curve shapes, including both linear and nonlinear models; and 3) using Bayesian meta-regression to combine results across trials. We found that, contrary to previous assumptions, the linear model does not acceptably fit the data, while the nonlinear, S-shaped Hill model fits the data well. Based on a conservative estimate of the degree of intra-individual variability in LDL-C (0.1 mmoL/L), as an estimate of a change in LDL-C that is not adverse, a change in iTFA intake of 2.2% of energy intake (%en) (corresponding to a total iTFA intake of 2.2–2.9%en) does not cause adverse effects on LDL-C. The iTFA intake associated with this change in LDL-C is substantially higher than the average iTFA intake (0.5%en).

Citation: Allen, B. C., Vincent, M. J., Liska, D., & Haber, L. T. (2016). Meta-regression analysis of the effect of trans fatty acids on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 1–13. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2016.10.014

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