More trans fat consumption linked to greater aggression

Might the "Twinkie defense" have a scientific foundation after all? Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have shown – by each of a range of measures, in men and women of all ages, in Caucasians and minorities – that consumption of dietary trans fatty acids (dTFAs) is associated with irritability and aggression.

The study of nearly 1,000 men and women provides the first evidence linking dTFAs with adverse behaviors that impacted others, ranging from impatience to overt . The research, led by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor in the UC San Diego Department of Medicine, has been published online by PLoS ONE.

Dietary trans are primarily products of hydrogenation, which makes unsaturated oils solid at room temperature. They are present at high levels in margarines, shortenings and prepared foods. Adverse health effects of dTFAs have been identified in lipid levels, metabolic function, insulin resistance, oxidation, inflammation, and cardiac health.

The UC San Diego team used baseline dietary information and behavioral assessments of 945 adult men and women to analyze the relationship between dTFAs and aggression or irritability. The survey measured such factors as a life history of aggression, conflict tactics and self-rated impatience and irritability, as well as an "overt aggression" scale that tallies recent aggressive behaviors. Analyses were adjusted for sex, age, education, and use of alcohol or tobacco products.

"We found that greater trans fatty acids were significantly associated with greater aggression, and were more consistently predictive of aggression and irritability, across the measures tested, than the other known aggression predictors that were assessed," said Golomb. "If the association between and aggressive behavior proves to be causal, this adds further rationale to recommendations to avoid eating trans fats, or including them in foods provided at institutions like schools and prisons, since the detrimental effects of trans fats may extend beyond the person who consumes them to affect others."

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Mar 13, 2012
Getting all the meat-based people to ditch their fat-laced lambs and beef for veggies to curb their fanatical aggression is going to be a problem. For once, some don't have much agriculturable land to grow such, others think veggies-rich diets are for weenies.Real men eat meat to be strong...and mean!
Mar 13, 2012
I had noticed Americans are more aggressive on the whole. Not in a smart way like Israelis, but in a cranky intolerant manner. You can see it on the boards with the general hubris and gang-bangers posting threats and insults. People are more aggressive departing fast food outlets. Some would run red lights or commit acts of hooliganism near the premises.

Trans fats also replace the cell wall with plastic, blocking intake of energy and essential building blocks.
Mar 13, 2012
this study is stupid and makes me mad that they would even consider such a foolish thing. Hang on, i got to run to mcdonalds real quick.......
Mar 13, 2012
Unfortunately - - the 'research' is confounded. Intake of trans fats is mostly associated with intake of fast foods - MANY additional avenues to explore there.
Mar 13, 2012
We should outlaw hydrogenation of foods. The only purpose of hydrogenation is to maximize profits.(you can use butter or animal fat instead, but hydrogenating vegtable oil is cheaper) The resulting trans fatty acids do not occur in nature and are therefore, basically, made made poisons. We shouldn't be allowed to add harmful ingredients to food.

Stop these greedy indifferent criminals from poisoning us! Somebody needs to start a class action suit, starting with fast food shortener suppliers.

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