, Volume 41, Issue 11, pp 967–992 | Cite as

Dietary trans fatty acids: Review of recent human studies and food industry responses

  • J. Edward Hunter


Dietary trans FA at sufficiently high levels have been found to increase low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and decrease high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (and thus to increase the ratio of LDL-cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol) compared with diets high in cis monounsaturated FA or PUFA. The dietary levels of trans FA at which these effects are easily measured are around 4% of energy or higher to increase LDL-cholesterol and around 5 to 6% of energy or higher to decrease HDL-cholesterol, compared with essentially trans-free control diets. Very limited data at lower levels of intake (less than 4% of energy) are available. Most health professional organizations and some govemments now recommend reduced consumption of foods containing trans FA, and effective January 1, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires the labeling of the amounts of trans FA fer serving in packaged foods. In response, the food industry is working on ways to eliminate or greatly reduce trans FA in food products. Current efforts focus on four technological options: (i) modification of the hydrogenation process, (ii) use of interesterification, (iii) use of fractions high in solids from natural oils, and (iv) use of trait-enhanced oils. Challenges to the food industry in replacing trans FA in foods are to develop formulation options that provide equivalent functionality, are economically feasible, and do not greatly increase saturated FA content.


Linoleic Acid Trans Fatty Acid Vaccenic Acid Dietary Trans Fatty Acid Positional Fatty Acid Isomer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



American Heart Association


age-related macular degeneration


apolipoprotein B-100


coronary heart disease


C-reactive protein


docosahexaenoic acid


Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology


essential fatty acids


eicosapentaenoic acid


U.S. Food and Drug Administration


free fatty acids


flow-mediated vasodilation


high-density lipoprotein




Institute of Medicine (of the National Academy of Sciences)


low-density lipoprotein



sTNF-R1 and-R2

soluble tumor necrosis factor alpha receptors 1 and 2


United Soybean Board


United States Department of Agriculture


World Health Organization/Food and Agricultural Organization (of the United Nations)


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© AOCS Press 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of CincinatiCincinnati

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