Effect of trans fatty acid intake on abdominal and liver fat deposition and blood lipids: a randomized trial in overweight postmenopausal women

Bendsen NT; Chabanova E; Thomsen HS; Larsen TM; Newman JW; Stender S; Dyerberg J; Haugaard SB; Astrup A
Paper attributed to Project(s)

Background: Intake of industrially produced trans fatty acids (TFAs) is, according to observational studies, associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but the causal mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Besides inducing dyslipidemia, TFA intake is suspected to promote abdominal and liver fat deposition. Objective: We examined the effect of a high intake of TFA as part of an isocaloric diet on whole-body, abdominal and hepatic fat deposition, and blood lipids in postmenopausal women. Methods: In a 16-week double-blind parallel intervention study, 52 healthy overweight postmenopausal women were randomized to receive either partially hydrogenated soybean oil providing 15.7 g day−1 of TFA or a control oil with mainly oleic and palmitic acid. Before and after the intervention, body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, abdominal fat by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and liver fat by 1H MR spectroscopy. Results: Compared with the control fat, TFA intake decreased plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol by 10%, increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol by 18% and resulted in an increased LDL/HDL-cholesterol ratio (baseline adjusted mean (95% CI) difference between diet groups 0.41 (0.22; 0.60); P<0.001). TFA tended to increase the body fat (0.46 (−0.20; 1.17) kg; P=0.16) and waist circumference (1.1 (−0.1; 2.4) cm; P=0.08) more than the control fat, whereas neither abdominal nor liver fat deposition was affected by TFA. Conclusion: The adverse effect of dietary TFA on cardiovascular disease risk involves induction of dyslipidemia, and perhaps body fat, whereas weight gain-independent accumulation of ectopic fat could not be identified as a contributory factor during short-term intake.

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