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NewsBites June 2012 Issue

Trans Fats Make You Grouchy

Maybe it’s the French fries and bear claws that are making you angry. In one of the first studies to link trans fat consumption to effects on behavior, University of California-San Diego researchers report that the fats used in some frying and commercial baked goods can make people more aggressive and irritable. Already linked to heart disease, trans fats are known to inhibit the body’s synthesis of omega-3 fats, which have been associated with reduced aggression and irritability. So researchers speculated that eating more trans fats might boost such negative feelings and behaviors. They tested the theory by comparing dietary data on 945 adults with behavioral assessments, including self-reported feelings of impatience and irritability as well as history of aggression. Scientists concluded, “We found that greater trans fatty acids were significantly associated with greater aggression, and were more consistently predictive of aggression and irritability, across the measures tested, than the other known aggression predictors that were assessed.”

TO LEARN MORE: PLoS ONE, dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0032175.

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