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Brouwer, Ingeborg. 2010. ‘Effect of Animal and Industrial Trans Fatty Acids on HDL and LDL Cholesterol Levels in Humans – A Quantitative Review.’ Accessed April 05, 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2830458/

Effects of Animal and Industrial Trans Fatty Acids on HDL and LDL Cholesterol Levels in Humans- A Quantitative Review:

          Trans fatty acids can be obtained from industrial hydrogenation of vegetable oil and fish oils (artificial trans fatty acids) or from the biohydrogenation from ruminant animals such as cows and sheep (natural trans fatty acids). The consumption of these hydrogenated products results in the increase or decrease of HDL and LDL lipoproteins in the body which places a risk on a person’s heart.

            In this report 39 studies were conducted using persons with controlled diets. Twenty-nine used industrial trans fatty acids, six used ruminant trans fatty acids while seventeen used conjugated trans linoleic acid (CLA). Linear regression analysis was uses to determine if these individuals were affected. The slope of the line for LDL to HDL ration was steeper for trans industrial fatty acids than for ruminant fatty acids or CLA. Statistical analysis was used to compare trans fatty acids with saturated fatty acids.

            The results indicated that there was significant weight loss and gain for some individuals with an increased risk of heart and liver disease. There is a quantitative comparison of the effect of ruminant trans fatty acids and CLA with industrial trans fatty acids on blood lipoproteins in humans. The analysis shows that all three classes of trans fatty acids raise the ratio of LDL to HDL. The effect of ruminant trans fatty acids and CLA on the LDL to HDL ratio was less than that of industrial trans fatty acids. The trans fatty acid with double bonds raised the LDL and lowered the HDL levels of cholesterol.         

            Thus, it was concluded that the removal of all the ruminants trans fatty acids (meat and milk) would lower the total trans fatty acid intake. Further studies need to be conducted to determine if the effects are due to chance. It some countries such as Denmark trans fatty acids are banned from the food industry.  

            This article helped me to better understand trans fatty acids to a larger extent. My knowledge of why trans fatty acids has such a negative impact on our bodies was broadened. Although this substance tantalized our taste buds and increases the shelf life of certain products it is a major component of cholesterol molecules. This as it is known leads to atherosclerosis which leads to heart attacks and strokes.

             I hope that after reading this  blog post you try to change your lifestyle to a more healthier way of living. Remember to exercise regularly, drink 6-8 glasses of water, include a large amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, and keep in mind that what you put into your body will affect you sooner or later.



Understanding Cholesterol…

What is Cholesterol?
Do you know what it is?
Have you ever stopped and wonder how many foods you eat each day that contains this molecule?

Well I am using this video to help you my viewers to understand more about this molecule.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat like substance found in the blood stream and cells of the body. This naturally occurring substance plays a critical role in the formation of cell membranes and the manufacture of hormones. only a small amount of functions is needed to carry out these functions so the presence of additional cholesterol poses a risk to the body.

How cholesterol works?
This molecule does not dissolve in the blood stream but is transferred in and out of the cell by carriers called low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). When cholesterol increases more lipoproteins is needed to be produced to transfer it across the cell. LDLs are bad because too much of it result in plaque build up in the artery wall which leads to a condition know as atherosclerosis. The arteries are hardened and clogged which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. On the other hand HDL is a good carrier since it aids in the removal of cholesterol from the arteries into the liver and out of the body.

How is cholesterol determined in the body?
A blood test can be done. The levels of cholesterol varies in a person’s age, weight and sex.
An LDL level above 160 is high while an HDL level below 40 is too low. This places someone at risk for plaque build up. 75% of the cholesterol is made in the body while the other 25% is obtained from our diet. It is found in foods such as meat, eggs and liver. Eating less saturated fats from animals is a first step in lowering cholesterol levels and living a healthy life style.

This video was beneficial in helping me understand more about the effects cholesterol. A possible way to better this video is maybe the additional of more pictures to show the effects this molecule has on our body. I enjoyed it sice it was short and to the point.


Did you know???


Hey guys so I am wrapping up on my Biochemistry blog posts. Today I learnt that cholesterol can actually be beneficial to us humans although we think of it as having this negative impact on our lives. It is a compound of the sterol type, C27H45OH, found in most body tissues and important in metabolism.  It’s structural components is composed of:

  • 4 fused ring collectively referred to as the steroid nucleus
  • An OH group on C3 (hydrophilic polar head)
  • An alkyl side chain located on C17
  • 2 methyl groups on C10 and C13
  • A double bond present between C5 anC6
  • Ring D as seen on the picture above is the only 5 membered ring while the other 3 rings are composed of 6 members

The human body contains about 100 g of cholesterol. Most of this is incorporated in the membranes from which cells are constructed and is an indispensable component of them. The insulating layers of myelin wound around neurons are especially rich in cholesterol.

Other uses of cholesterol include the synthesis of the steroid hormones: progesterone, estrogens, androgens (e.g., testosterone), glucocorticoids (e.g., cortisol) and mineralocorticoids (e.g., aldosterone).

Cholesterol is also the precursor from which the body synthesizes vitamin D.

One of the major uses of cholesterol is the synthesis of bile acids. These are synthesized in the liver from cholesterol and are secreted in the bile. They are essential for the absorption of fat from the contents of the intestine. The liver synthesizes some 1500–2000 mg of new cholesterol each day. It synthesizes cholesterol from the products of fat metabolism.

Cholesterol is seen to be beneficial to the human body. It also has negative impacts on the human body. The health effects of cholesterol problems are due to a condition called atherosclerosis, which is narrowing and hardening of arteries. When  levels of cholesterol are too high, LDLs (low density lipoproteins) will leave extra cholesterol in the blood. If the HDLs (high density lipoproteins) cannot pick up all of this cholesterol it will begin to build up on your artery walls along with other fats and debris. This buildup of cholesterol is called plaque. Over time, plaque can cause narrowing of the arteries or atherosclerosis. Health effects of this process include:

  • High blood pressure – increases over 140/190
  • Heart attack- occurs when the supplyof blood and oxygen to part of the heart is blocked
  • Stroke – it is a sudden occurrence where a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked or ruptures
  • Agina – occurs when the heart is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood for a short time

I hoped you have learnt something that is beneficial in understanding this lipid molecule. Until next time…