Long before government health agencies admitted that the link was real, it was understood that trans fats were linked to many diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Mary Enig presented numerous studies making this link, but her research was ignored mainly because of the influence of a group called Science in the Public Interest.
But finally, after many years, the government admitted that they were wrong.
With great fanfare, food companies began to advertise and label their products as containing no trans fats. The only problem: It wasn’t true.
Follow-up studies found that foods labeled as having zero trans fats often had high levels. If you see “contains partially hydrogenated oils” on the label, it most often has trans fats in it.
Why are trans fats harmful? Unlike most long chained oils, trans fats have an angular structure that interferes with cell membrane function and enzyme function.
This makes cell membranes stiff and unable to transmit essential substances to the inside of the cell.
This stiffness in the coronary arteries indicates a high risk of a heart attack. Over time, this can lead to calcification of the arteries. Special heart scans can detect this calcium.
Low magnesium intake is a common cause for artery calcification.
But Dr. Fred Kummerow found that trans fats can increase the movement of calcium into human endothelial cells when combined with magnesium deficiency.
Excess calcium, especially when magnesium is low, triggers inflammation in tissues, including blood vessels.
Another way trans fats cause trouble is that they interfere with insulin binding, therefore worsening diabetes.
When insulin function is impaired, inflammation along with high levels of free radicals and lipid peroxidation is greatly magnified.
This leads to atherosclerosis and a high risk of heart attacks and strokes.
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