AbstractA total of 231 samples of human adipose tissue have been analysed for (a) odd-number and branched - chain acids (L) which are characteristic of ruminant fat in the diet, and (b) trans unsaturated acids (T) which arise mostly from commercially - hydrogenated fats. A total of 136 specimens were taken at post mortem examination from persons dying of ischaemic heart disease (cases) and the remainder from persons dying from unrelated causes (controls). After due matching for area of residence, it is shown that the case specimens had a significantly lower proportion of Land a higher proportion of T than had the control specimens. The proportions of certain higher (c20 and c22 , mostly_monoenoic) acids (H) were similar as also were proportions of polyunsaturated acids.
The ratio T/L was significantly higher in the cases which suggests that they had consumed more hydrogenated fat relative to ruminant fat than had the controls.
The ratio T/L increased linearly with H within both the case and control specimens which suggests in respect of the similarity in the mean levels of H that the difference in the trans content may be concentrated in the "lower" trans acids.
To justify such a conclusion later GLC work permitting direct measurement of the proportions of "lower" (16:1 plus 18:1) trans acids ( TL) together with the "higher" c20 and c22 trans acids (TH) has been undertaken. Whereas mean levels of TH are virtually identical for cases and controls the mean value of T was significantly higher for the case specimens. Although these "lower" trans acids are present in small amounts in ruminant animal fat they are more characteristic of commercially hydrogenated fats. It is concluded therefore that the cases consumed on average a higher proportion of those hydrogenated fats rich in 16:1 trans and 18:1 trans acids, and the lower proportion of ruminant - fat than did the controls.
Fatty - acid compositions are also reported for adipose tissue of still-born infants, superficial versus deep-site tissue, and for a variety of margarines and animal fats.
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