By definition, ruminant trans fat is naturally-occurring, found in meat and dairy foods. Industrial produced trans fat is a component of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which have been highly associated with cholesterol and coronary heart disease.
According to the review, the naturally occurring trans fat has a different fatty acid profile than industrial trans fat, which contributes to its different physiological effects. Also, the amount of natural trans fat consumed has been relatively stable and much lower than the amounts consumed from partially hydrogenated oils that have been associated with adverse effects.
Researchers evaluated an evidence base from numerous epidemiological and clinical studies in the Advances in Nutrition review. Based on the promising findings to date, plans for new studies are gaining momentum to further investigate the health implications of natural ruminant-derived trans fats.
For example, one leading scientific program is headed by Proctor, who recently was approved for a $1 million research grant from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) to further this line of study over the next several years. This represents a continuation of strong support for research programs by the livestock industry in Alberta.
"With industry, science, regulators and other important groups in this area working together, we can continue to make strides to help the public better understand the health implications of natural ruminant trans fats," says Proctor.
|Contact: Dr. Spencer Proctor|
Global Dairy Platform