Doctors have been warning Americans to not consume trans fats for many years now. Now there may be one more reason to avoid trans fats. A study done by Oregon Health and Science University has shown that trans fat consumption could lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
In this study, 104 seniors of an average age of 87 years submitted blood samples that revealed what nutrients were in their bodies. All these seniors also took thinking and memory test and had MRI brain scans. The study results were published December 28th, 2011 in Neurology.
The scientist discovered from all these tests that the seniors who had higher levels of trans fat in their blood had smaller brains. As you age your brain size can change and a larger brain is considered to be healthier. Brain shrinkage is one of the characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease and a sign that Alzheimer’s is spreading in the brain.
In addition to the smaller brains, those who had more trans fats in their bodies also scored lower on the thinking and memory test. Therefore, the results of this study suggest that removing trans fats from your diet could improve your overall brain health.
Some foods to avoid that are full of trans fats are fried foods, fast foods, vegetable shortening, margarine, packaged cookies, crackers, and potato chips. Make sure you are reading the ingredients list on the packages of the food you are eating. The word “hydrogenated” means that the food contains trans fats. Even if the food says it contains no trans fats, you should still look for this word. The government allows a manufacturer to claim a food is “trans fat free” even if it contains up to half a gram of trans fat per serving.
In addition to determining that trans fat consumption could contribute to Alzheimer’s, the study also determined which seniors had the largest brains and highest test scores. These seniors were those who had high levels of vitamins B, C, D, and E as well as Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood. Not only can eating healthy foods that contain these vitamins keep your heart healthy, but also keep your brain healthy as well.