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Food Chem Toxicol. 2016 Dec;98(Pt B):295-307. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2016.10.014. Epub 2016 Oct 14.

Meta-regression analysis of the effect of trans fatty acids on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

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Independent Consultant, 101 Corbin Hill Circle, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA.
Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA), 2300 Montana Ave., Suite 409, Cincinnati, OH 45211, USA.
BioFortis Innovation Services, 211 East Lake Street, Addison, IL 60101, USA.
Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA), 2300 Montana Ave., Suite 409, Cincinnati, OH 45211, USA. Electronic address:


We conducted a meta-regression of controlled clinical trial data to investigate quantitatively the relationship between dietary intake of industrial trans fatty acids (iTFA) and increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Previous regression analyses included insufficient data to determine the nature of the dose response in the low-dose region and have nonetheless assumed a linear relationship between iTFA intake and LDL-C levels. This work contributes to the previous work by 1) including additional studies examining low-dose intake (identified using an evidence mapping procedure); 2) investigating a range of curve shapes, including both linear and nonlinear models; and 3) using Bayesian meta-regression to combine results across trials. We found that, contrary to previous assumptions, the linear model does not acceptably fit the data, while the nonlinear, S-shaped Hill model fits the data well. Based on a conservative estimate of the degree of intra-individual variability in LDL-C (0.1 mmoL/L), as an estimate of a change in LDL-C that is not adverse, a change in iTFA intake of 2.2% of energy intake (%en) (corresponding to a total iTFA intake of 2.2-2.9%en) does not cause adverse effects on LDL-C. The iTFA intake associated with this change in LDL-C is substantially higher than the average iTFA intake (0.5%en).


CHD; LDL-C; Meta-regression; PHO; TFA

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