The New Correlation between Trans Fat and Alzheimer’s Disease

Esha Brar

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        In a new study conducted by the Neurology journal, it was found that individuals who consumed higher levels of trans fats in their blood may be 50% to 75% likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Neurologist Dr. Neelum T. Aggarwal, who is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, and is the co-leader of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease in Chicago, explained how from consuming large amounts of trans fat, that the brain starts to receive negative brain outcomes of the brain. In the study, 1600 Japanese men and women were studied over a 10 year period, and blood tests studying trans fat levels were studied. Researchers studied the different factors affecting the risk of dementia, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking, and found that those with the highest levels of trans fat were 52% and 74% more likely to develop dementia. In the study, levels of trans fats were studied using a blood marker, and this study was extremely significant in proving how the dietary intake of trans fat would increase the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia. 

          Trans fats are also known as trans-unsaturated fatty acids and are defined as unsaturated fats that can be prevalent in smaller amounts of meat and milk fat. Trans fat can occur in small amounts, but there is a larger exposure of trans fat by man-made foods. Meanwhile, almonds, green vegetables, peanut butter, and sunflower seeds can all reduce the risk of dying or developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Trans fats are particularly favorable due to the fact that they are extremely easy to produce, last for a long time, and are able to give the impression of having a good texture and giving food a good taste. In the Japanese study, it was found that sweet pastries were the highest contributors to higher trans fat levels, followed by caramels, candies, croissants, ice cream, and rice crackers. However, the United States has attempted to ban the use of trans fat in 2015 and backed up their decision with the extensive research between trans fat, and the increase of bad cholesterol, and a reduction of good cholesterol. However, many companies began using extensions and being able to trans fats for a longer period of time, which has lead to more problems regarding the prevalence of these trans fats, even in small quantities. Small quantities of trans fats can still greatly contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and specifically dementia, and soon add up quickly in the body. 

         Today, many scientists are trying to spread the news about the dangers of large quantities of trans fats, and are trying to enforce the ban of trans fats across countries that do not have the exposure to the realities and dangers of these fats.