Trans fatty acids and cholesterol levels: An evidence map of the available science

Abstract: High intakes of industrial trans fatty acids (iTFA) increase circulating low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, which has implicated iTFA in coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. Published data on iTFA and LDL-C, however, represent higher intake levels than the U.S. population currently consume. This study used state-of-the-art evidence mapping approaches to characterize the full body of literature on LDL-C and iTFA at low intake levels. A total of 32 independent clinical trials that included at least one intervention or control group with iTFA at ≤3%en were found. Findings indicated that a wide range of oils and interventions were used, limiting the ability to determine an isolated effect of iTFA intake. Few data points were found for iTFA at <3%en, with the majority of low-level exposures actually representing control group interventions containing non-partially hydrogenated (PHO) oils. Further, it appears that few dose-response data points are available to assess the relationship of low levels of iTFA, particularly from PHO exposure, and LDL-C. Therefore, limited evidence is available to determine the effect of iTFA at current consumption levels on CHD risk.

Citation: Liska, D. J., Cook, C. M., Wang, D. D., Gaine, P. C., & Baer, D. J. (2016). Trans fatty acids and cholesterol levels: An evidence map of the available science. Food and Chemical Toxicology. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2016.07.002

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