Trans Fatty Acid Anger: TFAs linked to aggression

And you thought the worst thing about a Twinky bar was the yucky goo in the middle.

We found that greater trans fatty acids were significantly associated with greater aggression

Trans fatty acids, found in all manner of processed foods, and resulting from the process of hydrogenation (to turn unsaturated food oils in to solids at room temperature), may have effects more sinister than a bulging waistline.

Researchers at University of California, San Diego have demonstrated that dietary trans fatty acids (dTFAs) is associated with heightened levels of irritability and aggression.

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.

The research was led by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor in the UC San Diego Department of Medicine, and provides the first evidence linking dTFAs with adverse behaviors that impacted others, ranging from impatience to overt aggression.

"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.

Source: University of California – San Diego

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