Trans Fats Memory Loss Linked In a Recent Study

Trans fats – memory loss connected? Eating foods that are high in trans fats may not only be bad for your heart, but also for your memory.

A new study presented at a recent meeting of the American Heart Association strongly linked trans fats to worse memory in young and middle-aged men. The researchers included about 1,000 healthy men, who were 20 years of age and older.

First, they had them fill out dietary questionnaires to estimate trans fat consumption. Then to assess memory, participants were shown a series of 104 word cards and asked whether each word was new or duplicated from a prior card. Among men under the age of 45, those who ate more trans fats registered a “notably worse performance” on the memory test. Participants eating the highest amounts recalled about 11 fewer words than those who ate the least amount of trans fats.

The lead author says further study is needed to determine whether these effects extend to younger women. Trans fats can be found in baked goods, margarine, snack foods, fast foods, microwave popcorn, coffee creamer and more.

In 2013, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils, which are the primary dietary source of trans fatty acids, are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe in human food. Many companies have phased out trans fats or are in the process of doing so.

SOURCE U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health