What are trans fats, you ask?
There are two primary sources of trans fats in the human diet: natural and artificial.
Natural trans fats are present in small amounts in dairy products and the meat of some animals.
On the other hand, artificial trans fats, or trans fatty acids, are produced through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil to make it solid.
Examples of foods that have high levels of trans fats are:
Sweet pastries, margarine, candies, caramels, ice cream, chewing gum and croissants.
According to the American Heart Association, several studies already reported that consumption of trans fats can raise the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Dementia Risk: Trans Fats Study Results
A new study of senior citizens in the town of Hisayama, Japanese found that seniors with high levels of trans fat in their blood, were more likely to develop dementia than those with lower levels.
Over 1600 seniors aged 60 and older were followed for 10 years. Blood samples were taken at the beginning of the study, and researchers verified that none were suffering from dementia.
At the end of the 10 year period, 377 participants received a diagnosis of dementia and an additional 247 participants had Alzheimer’s disease.
Participants with the highest levels of trans fats in their blood had a 52% greater chance of developing dementia compared to seniors who only ate small amounts of trans fats the ten year test period.
Trans Fats Banned In United States
The Food and Drug Administration banned artificial trans fats in 2018, declaring that removing partially hydrogenated oils from processed foods could reduce heart attacks and deaths.
However, the ban comes with a catch. It allows food labels to say 0 grams, even though it has up to 0.5 grams of trans fat. This means that some foods may still contain very small amounts of partially hydrogenated oils. Even small amounts of trans fats eaten consistently over time — can accumulate and also increase the risk for dementia. Indeed, the evidence points to this as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease cases are increasing yearly.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation predicts that dementia and Alzheimer’s will double by 2050. Perhaps it’s time to change our diets.