[Trans fatty acids: consumption effect on human health and regulation challenges]

Nutr Hosp. 2012 Jan-Feb;27(1):54-64. doi: 10.1590/S0212-16112012000100007.
[Article in Spanish]


Trans fatty acids (TFA) are stable to oxidative rancidity which allows them to have a long shelf-life: also they have an intermediate melting point between saturated and unsaturated fats. For these reasons they have been widely used by the food industry. However, in recent years a large number of epidemiological and clinical evidence has indicated that trans fats are a significant risk factor to suffer a cardiovascular event and appear to be involved in the process of inflammation, diabetes and cancer. The increase of 2% of the daily energy by TFA is associated with a 23% increase cardiovascular risk. Therefore, international organizations like WHO and PAHO recommend virtually eliminate them or make their consumption as low as possible, less than 1%. Considering this recommendation and the risk involved in its consumption, some countries in Europe and America have legislated to achieve a gradual reduction of these fats. Denmark is a country that has shown a reduced prevalence of cardiovascular disease by reducing sources of trans fats in the diet. Despite the evidence of their impact on health in many countries still do not take any action and significant amounts of TFA remain in their foods and therefore in the diet of its population.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Food Industry / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Legislation, Food / trends*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Trans Fatty Acids / adverse effects*


  • Trans Fatty Acids