Topic 1 Impact on cardiovascular disease

WHO reports that a 2% increase in energy from trans-fats leads to a 25% increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is noteworthy that according to the WHO report, every year more than half a million deaths of people from cardiovascular disease can be attributed to the intake of TFAs (World Health Organisation, 2018).

TFA can increase the risk of myocardial infarction. They can cause alterations in arterial homeostasis, forming large amounts of lipoproteins or thromboxane (a power vasoconstrictor) (National food and veterinary risk assessment institute of Lithuania, 2019).

Trans-fatty acids raise “bad” cholesterol and also lowers “good” cholesterol. TFA have an unhealthy effect on cholesterol levels.

There are two main types of cholesterol:

  • low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol can build up in the walls of arteries, making them hard and narrow.
  • high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. HDL, or “good,” cholesterol picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver.

Trans fats increase LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2022).

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