, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 1289-1302
Date: 27 Dec 2012

Trans-fatty acids, dangerous bonds for health? A background review paper of their use, consumption, health implications and regulation in France

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Trans-fatty acids (TFAs) can be produced either from bio-hydrogenation in the rumen of ruminants or by industrial hydrogenation. While most of TFAs’ effects from ruminants are poorly established, there is increasing evidence that high content of industrial TFAs may cause deleterious effects on human health and life span.

Material and methods

Indeed, several epidemiological and experimental studies strongly suggest that high content of most TFA isomers could represent a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by a mechanism that lowers the “good HDL cholesterol” and raises the “bad LDL cholesterol.”


With respect to the general precautionary principle and considering the existence of an international policy consensus regarding the need for public health action, some industrialized countries, such as France, are still not sufficiently involved in preventive strategies that aim to efficiently reduce TFAs content and TFAs consumption and produce alternative healthier fat sources.


In this manuscript, we provide an overview about TFAs origins, their use and consumption among French population. We also discuss their potential human health implications as well as the preventive and regulatory measures undertaken in France.

F. Menaa and A. Menaa have equally contributed to this work.