Trans fats linked to memory damage

A new study shows that eating trans fats may be associated with memory loss, according to a study presented last week at the American Heart Association scientific sessions. Trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and vegetable shortening, were included for years in products like margarine and were added to increase the shelf life of packaged crackers and cookies.

“These artificial fats penetrate every cell in the body and can disrupt basic cell functions, ” Walter Willett, chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), who was not involved in the research, said of the findings on November 18, 2014 in USA Today.

The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers tested word recall among 690 young and middle-aged men. Those who reported eating the most trans fat remembered 11 fewer words out of 104 than those who ate the least.

The amount of trans fat in the food supply has been reduced considerably since 2006 when manufacturers were required to list trans fats on labels. Willett said this has helped reduce heart disease and diabetes in areas, including Boston, where trans fats have been banned.

Read the USA Today article: Eating trans fat may damage memory

Learn more

Fats and Cholesterol (The HSPH Nutrition Source)