Institute of Food Science & Technology
The Voice of the Food Profession
Trans fatty acids, like saturated fatty acids, raise LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels in the blood, thereby increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. While there is no evidence of risk at current UK levels of intake, and the reduction of the intake of energy from fat, including from saturated fatty acids, is of major importance, IFST supports the WHO recommendations and subsequent recommendations from the UK Food Standards Agency, the European Food Safety Authority and authorities elsewhere, that manufacturers should reduce the levels of trans fatty acids arising from hydrogenation, and notes the progress that industry has made in that direction. Consumption in the UK has been declining (Hulshof, 1999).
While that statement sums up the present state of knowledge, scientists have to act on existing knowledge while recognising that further research will bring new information and knowledge, which may in turn lead to revised conclusions. IFST continues to support the need for continuing research in this whole area.
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