SFA & Trans-fatty Acids
Dietary recommendations regarding SFA have often been given jointly with trans-fatty acids (TFA; i.e., to reduce the total amount of SFA and TFA). Dietary sources of TFA include ruminant milk and meats, as well as partially hydrogenated vegetable fats. The adverse metabolic effects of TFAs are well established and include signs of increased adiposity, insulin resistance, inflammation, and decreased endothelial function. In particular, TFAs negatively and strongly affect lipoproteins, lowering HDL-C and LDL particle size, and increasing total cholesterol (TC):HDL-C ratio and apoB:apoA-I ratio, triglycerides (TGs) and Lp(a) levels. As the molecular geometry of SFA resembles that of TFA, it is tempting to attribute these adverse metabolic properties to SFA as well. This might indeed be true to some extent but such generalization should be made with caution, as all of these effects cannot be ascribed to all SFA, neither individually nor when considered as a group, as will be discussed.
Clin Lipidology. 2011;6(2):209-223. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.