Trans Fat Linked to Irritability

Higher trans fat consumption associated with aggression

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Feeling irritable and aggressive? It might be what you're eating. A new study suggests that eating higher amounts of trans fats may lead to undesirable adverse behaviors.

Investigators at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found that both men and women tend to develop nasty behaviors ranging from impatience to aggression after consuming larger amounts of trans fats.

"Avoid trans fats when possible to protect your heart."

Trans fats are primarily found in margarines, shortenings and prepared foods. Consuming higher amounts of trans fats is known to elevate cholesterol and increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

Dr. Beatrice Golomb, lead researcher and associate professor in the University of California, San Diego Department of Medicine, said that that greater trans fat consumption had a significant link to increased aggression. She said that if the finding is confirmed, it will add an additional reason for avoiding the consumption of trans fats, since the detrimental effects of trans fats would also effect others.

Investigators studied 945 men and women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. They examined trans fat intake and surveyed participants about their history of aggression, impatience and irritability, as well as overt aggression. The analysis was adjusted for age, gender, education and use of tobacco and alcohol.

“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,” said Dr. Golomb.

The study was recently published in journal PLoS ONE.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 16, 2012
Last Updated:
March 18, 2012