Excess consumption TFA, an unsaturated fatty acid containing trans double bonds, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
Studies have shown that increased consumption of sweetened baked goods and oils and condiments high in TFA significantly increased the risk of colorectal cancer. Women who were estrogen negative had a 2-fold increased risk of colorectal cancer, suggesting that hormone balance may be a possible variable in the relationship between colon cancer risk and TFA consumption (Smith et al., 2009).
The effect of TFA on the development of breast cancer has been studied more extensively than for other types of cancer. In four out of five studies that looked at adipose tissue, a positive association was observed. The results for blood were less consistent and somewhat contradictory. An early case-control study investigated the association between specific TFA isomers in subcutaneous adipose tissue in post-menopausal women and found a higher risk of breast cancer in women using higher levels of TFA (Krettek, A., Thorpenberg, S., & Bondjers, G. (2008).
Dietary habits related to trans-fats and saturated fats, mainly from meat, are major risk factors for cancer. Despite the increased importance of trans fats in cancer, there is still controversy as to whether this fat group is a major contributor to human cancer. Different epide-miological studies have shown that the highest cancer risk has been reported in people who eat mainly saturated and unsaturated trans-fats from grilled meat (Krettek, A., Thorpenberg, S., & Bondjers, G. (2008).
Only foods rich in natural fats, such as nuts, olives and many types of fish, are part of a healthy diet and are associated with a lower risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease (American Institute for Cancer Research, n.d.).
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