Research has shown that trans fats are not only bad for you because they block up your arteries, but also because they may be injuring the memory of younger people. Men ranging from young to middle-aged who ate high quantities of trans fats showed a significant reduction in their ability to recall words through the course of a memory test. The study revealed that men who consumed the largest amount of trans fats had up to a 10% decreased ability to recall the words.

Dr. Beatrice Golomb, author of the study and professor of medicine at UCSD, reported that the more trans fats the men ate, the worse their performance was.

Trans fats raise LDL, the bad cholesterol, and lowers HDL, good cholesterol, levels. Trans fats naturally occur in meat products and milk in low amounts. They are also synthetically made for hydrogenated oils and junk foods to raise the shelf life. Consuming trans fats is linked to depression, heart disease, and increased body weight.

In the study, 1,000 healthy men that were 20+ years old and did not have heart disease filled out a survey to allow the researchers calculate their trans fat intake. A “recurrent words” test was done to test memory. 104 cards were shown, each with a word on it, and the men had to say whether it was a new word or one that had come up before.

Trans Fats

Men of all ages with diets higher in trans fats did considerably worse on this test.  The researchers believe that trans fats have an oxidizing effect that kills the memory of the brain. It may also slow down the brain cells, making them less alert. Not to worry though if your diet is high in trans fats because the negative effects can be reversed by getting rid of trans fats in your diet.