Dietary Trans Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Past and Present

  • Alice H. LichtensteinEmail author
Nutrition (JP Foreyt, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Nutrition


Dietary trans double bond containing fatty acids have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. There are two main sources of dietary trans fatty acids: meat and dairy fats, and partially hydrogenated fats. Because of a number of factors, including changes in federal labeling requirements for packaged foods, and local bans and grassroots pressure on the use of partially hydrogenated fat, trans fat intake has declined in recent years. Similar to saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids increase plasma low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol concentrations. In contrast to saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids do not increase high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol concentrations. These differences have been attributed to lipoprotein catabolic rate rather than production rate. When reported, effects of partially hydrogenated fat on glucose homeostasis, C-reactive protein, blood pressure, and LDL oxidation are modest. Although at this time some issues remain unresolved regarding trans fatty acids and CVD risk factors other than plasma lipoprotein concentrations, they should not affect the final dietary recommendation to limit intake.


Trans fatty acids Nutrition Diet Public policy Cardiovascular disease Polyunsaturated fatty acids Monounsaturated fatty acids 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Alice H. Lichtenstein declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.JM USDA Human Nutrition Research CenterTufts UniversityBostonUSA

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