Critics of Big Brother government tactics won’t like it. But new research has found trans fats levels in Americans’ blood have dropped since 2000 and regulatory efforts to ban or spotlight them are responsible.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said blood levels of the four major trans fatty acids in white adult Americans fell 58 percent from 2000 to 2009.
Researchers writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association said the decrease coincided with the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to amend its regulations in 2003 to require that trans fats be declared on the nutrition labels of foods and dietary supplements.
That, in turn, prompted community and state health departments around the nation to require restaurants to ban or restrict trans fats in their foods, and reductions were also made in supermarket products.
The sharp decrease “may lead to a decrease in risk for cardiovascular disease in this subpopulation,” the researchers concluded.
The researchers measured the amount of trans fatty acids in the blood plasma of 229 white Americans in 2000 and 292 in 2009, as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Trans fatty acids come from natural sources, such as milk, and industrial sources, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. They can increase so-called “bad” cholesterol, the risk of heart disease and have other negative health effects, experts have noted.
“Changing to a diet low in [trans fats] may lower the [cholesterol] level and decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease,” researchers said. “To assist consumers, the Food and Drug Administration amended its regulations in 2003 to require that [they] be declared on the nutrition label of foods and dietary supplements.”