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Trans Fatty Acids Linked to Breast Cancer Risk

A category of fats, called trans fatty acids, that is common in the American diet has been linked to an increased breast cancer risk, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

These substances are present in many processed and fast foods, margarines and some vegetable oils but do not occur naturally in food. They form when vegetable oils are partly hydrogenated to form margarine and other solid vegetable cooking fats. Researchers found that women with the highest levels of trans fatty acids were 40 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those women with the lowest levels of trans fatty acids.

Women can reduce their trans fatty acid intake by modifying their diets. Researchers stated that at least two years of reduced intake of these fats would be required to indicate a lower level of stored body fat. A current study is following a large group of women who have had breast cancer to determine whether the level of trans fatty acids affects the risk of a breast cancer recurrence.

National Research Foundation Home Page

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Rocky Mountain Publicity
Updated October 7th, 1999