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Trans Fatty Foods Linked to Aggression

By on March 15, 2012

So why you so mad? Is it the economy, your mate, or is it just all the trans fatty foods you’ve been indulging in recently. Research says trans fatty acids are seemingly associated with irritability and  aggression in both men and women of all ages.

Dr. Beatrice Golomb, an associate professor in the University  of California, San Diego, Department of Medicine, studied nearly  1,000 men and women and said, “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.” It’s unclear if race and/or ethnicity was controlled for in this study.

“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.”

Dietary trans fatty acids are primarily products of hydrogenation, which  makes unsaturated oils solid at room temperature. They are present at high levels in margarine, shortening and prepared foods, Golomb said. Golomb and colleagues measured factors such as a life history of aggression,  conflict tactics and self-rated impatience and irritability. They used an “overt  aggression” scale that tallies recent aggressive behaviors.


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