Eating Trans Fats Linked to Memory Loss

Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to phase out all use of trans fats by 2018. Now, a new study linking trans fats with memory problems appears to support that move.

Trans fats, which are known to raise levels of “bad” cholesterol while lowering so-called “good” cholesterol, can be found in many different types of foods, from baked goods to frozen pizza and microwave popcorn.

But while it’s been known for some time that trans fats can have a negative impact on our cholesterol levels, a new study shows consuming them may also harm our brains

The study, which was carried out by a research team under University of California professor Dr. Beatrice Golomb, involved an evaluation of data associated with just under 650 healthy men. The participants were asked to fill out a dietary survey and then take part in a memory examination.

The researchers discovered a fascinating link between trans fats and memory: for every gram of trans fats consumed on a daily basis, the memory performance of the men dropped significantly. In fact, men whose diet included a lot of trans fats (16-grams or more) were able to recall 12 fewer words than men who ate less trans fats.

Golomb says it’s clear more research needs to focus on this area. She suggests that trans fats might actually cause inflammation in the body, thereby prevent the production of chemicals that play an important role in memory

“It would not be unexpected for that to lead to worse brain function,” Golomb said.


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