CDC Study Finds Levels of Trans-Fatty Acids in Blood of U.S. White

Adults Has Decreased

CONTACT: CDC Division of News & Electronic Media, +1-404-639-3286

ATLANTA, Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blood levels of

trans-fatty acids (TFAs) in white adults in the U.S. population

decreased by 58 percent from 2000 to 2009 according to a Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention study published in the Feb. 8 edition

of the Journal of the American Medical Association. This is the first

time CDC researchers have been able to measure trans fats in human


CDC researchers selected participants from the National Health and

Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) years 2000 and 2009 to examine

trans-fatty acid blood levels before and after the Food and Drug

Administration's 2003 regulation, which took effect in 2006, requiring

manufacturers of food and some dietary supplements to list the amount

of TFAs on the Nutrition Facts panel of the product label. During this

period, some local and state health departments took steps to help

consumers reduce their daily consumption by requiring restaurants to

limit their use of TFAs in food and increase public awareness

campaigns about the health risks associated with TFAs.

"The 58 percent decline shows substantial progress that should help

lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults," said Christopher

Portier, Ph.D., director of CDC's National Center for Environmental

Health. "Findings from the CDC study demonstrate the effectiveness of

these efforts in reducing blood TFAs and highlight that further

reductions in the levels of trans fats must remain an important public

health goal."

The current study provides information for white adults only, and

additional CDC studies are under way to examine blood TFAs in other

adult race/ethnic groups, children, and adolescents, Dr. Portier


This research is a part of CDC's larger National Biomonitoring

program, which currently measures more than 450 environmental

chemicals and nutritional indicators in people.

Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are not essential to human

health and do not promote good health. Research has indicated that

high consumption of trans-fatty acids is linked to cardiovascular

disease in part because TFAs increase LDL cholesterol ("bad"

cholesterol). Changing to a diet low in TFAs may lower LDL cholesterol

levels, thus decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease.

For more information on CDC's study:

For more information on CDC's work in the National Biomonitoring


Background on study

CDC studied four major TFAs to provide a reasonable representation of

TFAs in blood: elaidic acid, linoelaidic acid, palmitelaidic acid, and

vaccenic acid. The study measured TFAs in 229 fasting adults from the

2000 NHANES and 292 from 2009 NHANES.

The study found the overall decrease in trans-fatty acids was 58

percent. For specific trans-fatty acids, decreases were: elaidic acid

- 63 percent, linoelaidic acid - 49 percent, palmitelaidic acid - 49

percent, and vaccenic acid - 56 percent.


CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination is a cross-sectional

survey of the U.S. population weighted to be nationally

representative. For this study, researchers used a randomly selected

one-half sample of white persons aged 20 years and older from the

morning fasting sample from NHANES 2000 and 2009.

About Trans Fats

-- The USDA/HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend

keeping TFA consumption as low as possible, especially by limiting

foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fats, such as partially

hydrogenated oils, and by limiting other solid fats:

-- TFAs in blood come from synthetic sources in foods, such as

partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and natural sources in foods,

such as milk.

-- Hydrogenation is used by food manufacturers to make products

containing unsaturated fatty acids solid at room temperature and

therefore more resistant to becoming spoiled or rancid.

-- Trans-fatty acids are produced by grazing animals, and small

quantities are therefore found in meat and milk products.

-- Since 2006, FDA has required nutrition facts labels to list the

amount of trans fats in food products. At restaurants, customers can

ask before they order, to know which fats are being used to prepare

the food. Many restaurants display nutritional content or can provide

it upon request,

CDC recommends

-- Look for the trans fat listing on the Nutrition Facts label.

Compare brands and choose the one lowest in trans fat, preferably with

no trans fat.

-- Replace margarine containing trans fat with unsaturated vegetable


-- If you use margarine, choose a soft margarine spread instead of

stick margarine. Check your labels to be sure the soft margarine does

contain less trans fat. If possible, find one that says zero grams of

trans fat.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

SOURCE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

-0- 02/08/2012

CO: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

ST: Georgia




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