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Trans Fat Consumption Linked to Irritability and Aggressive Behavior Featured

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hulkThe consumption of dietary trans fatty acids (dTFAs) is associated with irritability and aggressive behavior according to a new study published online by PLoS ONE.

The study of nearly 1,000 men and women provides the first evidence linking dTFAs with adverse behaviors that impacted others, ranging from impatience to overt aggression.

Dietary trans fatty acids are primarily products of hydrogenation, which makes unsaturated oils solid at room temperature. Trans fatty acidsare present at high levels in margarines, shortenings and prepared foods. Adverse health effects of dTFAs have been identified in lipid levels, metabolic function, insulin resistance, oxidation, inflammation, and cardiac health.

The dietary trans fatty acids (dTFAs) research, led by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor in the UC San Diego Department of Medicine,  used baseline dietary information and behavioral assessments of 945 adult men and women to analyze the relationship between dietary trans fatty acids (dTFAs) and aggression or irritability. The survey measured such factors as a life history of aggression, irritability, conflict tactics as well as an “overt aggression” scale that tallies recent aggressive behaviors. Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, education, and use ofalcohol and tobacco products.

“We found that greater dietary trans fatty acids were significantly associated with greater aggression, and were more consistently predictive of aggression and irritability, across the measures tested, than the other known aggression predictors that were assessed,” said Golomb.

“If the association between dietary trans fats and aggressive behavior proves to be causal, this adds further rationale to recommendations to avoid eating trans fats, or including trans fats in foods provided at institutions like schools and prisons, since the detrimental effects of dietary trans fats may extend beyond the person who consumes them to affect others.”

Last modified on Sunday, 07 October 2012 23:35
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