DEA News
Return to News Home

Trans Fats in Processed Food May Cause Memory Loss

Researchers have warned that trans fat consumption could have harmful effects on the brain and are capable of damaging memory.

Jaycee De Guzman, Capital OTC, Nov 19, 2014

Trans fat is a form of artificially created unsaturated fat. It is used to improve flavor, texture and shelf life and is mainly found in processed food. Previous studies on trans fats have revealed that it can increase the risk of coronary heart diseases. This new study implies that trans fats may be harmful to the brain.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego said in a new study that men having excess trans fats in their bodies were at a higher risk of memory loss.

Leader of the study and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, Beatrice A. Golomb said:

“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,”

She said the study involved around 1,000 men without health problems less than 45 years of age. Subjects who consumed food with high levels of trans fat performed worst in a word memory test. After accounting for ethnicity, depression, age and education, the study found that the effect of the fat on memory loss was across the board.

The average number of words remembered by the participants in the study was 86. The scientists found that every other gram of trans fat per day was connected to 0.76 less words memorized correctly. Participants who consumed the highest amount of fat memorized 11 fewer words, over 10 percent less, compared to those who consumed less.

The implication of trans fats on health is getting a lot of attention in numerous countries. Over 70 companies in the United Kingdom including Pizza Hut, Burger King, Unilever, Asda and more promised to remove or at least reduce the amount of trans fats.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) made it mandatory for manufacturers of food to detail the content of trans fats on the Nutrition Facts segment of the packaging back in 2003.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014 in Chicago

Return to News Home