|Dietary Trans Fat Elicits Irritability and Aggression|
|Living - Health & Fitness|
|TS-Si News Service|
|Thursday, 15 March 2012 08:00|
San Diego, CA, USA. Men and women of all ages, as shown by a range of measures for both Caucasians and minorities, exhibit irritability and aggression when consuming dietary trans fatty acids (dTFAs).
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 aggression.
Dietary trans fatty acids 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 research, led by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, appears in the journal PLoS ONE.
"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 trans fats 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."
FundingThis research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
CitationTrans Fat Consumption and Aggression. Beatrice A. Golomb, Marcella A. Evans, Halbert L. White, Joel E. Dimsdale. PLoS ONE 2012; 7(3): e32175. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032175
Background. Dietary trans fatty acids (dTFA) are primarily synthetic compounds that have been introduced only recently; little is known about their behavioral effects. dTFA inhibit production of omega-3 fatty acids, which experimentally have been shown to reduce aggression. Potential behavioral effects of dTFA merit investigation. We sought to determine whether dTFA are associated with aggression/irritability.
Methodology/Principal Findings. We capitalized on baseline dietary and behavioral assessments in an existing clinical trial to analyze the relationship of dTFA to aggression. Of 1,018 broadly sampled baseline subjects, the 945 adult men and women who brought a completed dietary survey to their baseline visit are the target of this analysis. Subjects (seen 1999–2004) were not on lipid medications, and were without LDL-cholesterol extremes, diabetes, HIV, cancer or heart disease. Outcomes assessed adverse behaviors with impact on others: Overt Aggression Scale Modified-aggression subscale (primary behavioral endpoint); Life History of Aggression; Conflict Tactics Scale; and self-rated impatience and irritability. The association of dTFA to aggression was analyzed via regression and ordinal logit, unadjusted and adjusted for potential confounders (sex, age, education, alcohol, and smoking). Additional analyses stratified on sex, age, and ethnicity, and examined the prospective association. Greater dTFA were strongly significantly associated with greater aggression, with dTFA more consistently predictive than other assessed aggression predictors. The relationship was upheld with adjustment for confounders, was preserved across sex, age, and ethnicity strata, and held cross-sectionally and prospectively.
Conclusions/Significance. This study provides the first evidence linking dTFA with behavioral irritability and aggression. While confounding is always a concern in observational studies, factors including strength and consistency of association, biological gradient, temporality, and biological plausibility add weight to the prospect of a causal connection. Our results may have relevance to public policy determinations regarding dietary trans fats.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 15 March 2012 13:34|