Trans fatty acids, HDL-cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. Effects of dietary changes on vascular reactivity

Eur J Med Res. 2003 Aug 20;8(8):355-7.


A high consumption of trans fatty acids increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). We investigated whether this increase in risk was due to the decrease in serum HDL-cholesterol by trans fatty acids, because low concentrations of serum HDL-cholesterol also increase risk of CVD. Flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) was used as an endpoint in dietary interventions that were designed to change the concentration of serum HDL-cholesterol within 4 weeks in healthy volunteers. Replacement of 10% of energy from saturated by trans fatty acids decreased serum HDL-cholesterol by 21 % and impaired FMD. However, a replacement of monounsaturated fats by carbohydrates did not impair FMD, although it decreased serum HDL-cholesterol by 13%. Acute postprandial impairments of FMD by either trans fats or saturated fats were not found, suggesting that long-term effects are responsible for the detrimental effect of trans fats on health. However, the role of serum HDL-cholesterol appears to be less than we expected.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase / blood
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Brachial Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postprandial Period
  • Trans Fatty Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Trans Fatty Acids / adverse effects
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Trans Fatty Acids
  • Triglycerides
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase