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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009 Oct;34(5):979-91. doi: 10.1139/H09-079.

Human health benefits of vaccenic acid.

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Alberta Institute for Human Nutrition, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.


The health risks associated with consumption of diets high in trans fats from industrially produced hydrogenated fats are well documented. However, trans fatty acids are not a homogeneous group of molecules, and less is known about the health effects of consuming diets containing vaccenic acid (VA), a positional and geometric isomer of oleic acid, the predominant trans isomer in ruminant fats. The presence of VA in industrial trans fats has raised the question of whether VA produces the same adverse health effects as industrially produced trans fats. VA is also the major trans fat in ruminant fats, and questions have arisen as to whether consuming this trans fat has the same effects on health risk. The purpose of this paper is to critically review the published studies in humans, animals, and cell lines. Epidemiological, but not rodent, studies suggest that VA intake or serum concentrations may be associated with increased cancer risk. However, epidemiological, clinical, and rodent studies to date have not demonstrated a relationship with heart or cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, or inflammation. VA is the only known dietary precursor of c9,t11 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), but recent data suggest that consumption of this trans fat may impart health benefits beyond those associated with CLA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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