Higher content of trans fatty acids in abdominal visceral fat of morbidly obese individuals undergoing bariatric surgery compared to non-obese subjects

Obes Surg. 2005 Oct;15(9):1265-70. doi: 10.1381/096089205774512375.


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the total content of trans fatty acids (TFA) in subcutaneous, retroperitoneal and visceral fat of morbidly obese and non-obese patients submitted to bariatric surgery or plastic and abdominal surgery.

Methods: The adipose tissues were obtained by surgery; lipids were extracted, saponified and esterified. TFA were measured by FTIR-ATR spectroscopy.

Results: The TFA average in obese patients was 6.3% for retroperitoneal and 8.7% for visceral fat. For non-obese patients, the figures were 6.9% (subcutaneous) and 9.3% (visceral). There was no difference between the groups. However, the TFA depot in visceral fat was higher than other fatty tissues for morbidly obese (P<0.001) and non-obese (P<0.05) patients.

Conclusions: Our values for TFA content in all adipose tissues analyzed are higher than reported in other countries (3-6%). We showed more TFA in visceral adipose tissue than in other abdominal fat (subcutaneous and retroperitoneal) stores. The visceral adipose tissue level is worrisome because the higher rate of lipolysis in this tissue appears to be an important indicator of metabolic alterations and the levels of TFA found in adipose tissue presumably reflect the higher dietary intake of TFA by Brazilians.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat / metabolism*
  • Bariatric Surgery*
  • Body Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity, Morbid / metabolism*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Retroperitoneal Space
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Trans Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Viscera


  • Trans Fatty Acids