Trans-Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: Urgent Need for Legislation

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Hydrogenated oils containing trans-fatty acids (TFA) are used to produce margarine and various processed foods. TFA affect serum lipid levels, fatty acid metabolism, and endothelial function. High TFA intake is linked to increased all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease mortality, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence. Denmark was the first country to introduce a law that limited TFA content in food; this action led to lower CVD mortality. So far 7 European countries have followed this practice, in a few others the food industry voluntarily reduced TFA use. The issue remains mostly unaddressed in the rest of the world. Legal TFA limits should be commonly established as they are the optimal solution considering both CVD prevention and the associated cost savings in public healthcare.

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