The structural rigidity of trans fats, and why they are so dangerous for your health

Saturday, May 04, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: trans fats, hydrogenated oils, healthy diet

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(NaturalNews) Saturated fats often get erroneously lumped into the same unhealthy category as trans fats because of their similar molecular structure, which is part of the reason why saturated fats are still largely looked down upon in mainstream society as harmful to health. But trans fats are actually in a class of their own when it comes to form, function, and effect on the human body, and this class is definitely not a positive one. Trans fats, it turns out, take the place of healthy saturated fats throughout the body and effectively block things like nutrient absorption, waste elimination, and immune function - this is why they are so uniquely dangerous for your health.

Though chemically identical to saturated fats, according to GreenMedInfo.com, trans fats are inherently malformed and unnatural. They are created by essentially forcing hydrogen molecules through fats at high heat, a process more commonly known as hydrogenation. This process makes fats more stable, which in turn prevents them from going rancid quickly, but it also reshapes fats, altering them from a bended and more loose shape to a straight and more rigid shape. The alteration of fats in this way renders them poisonous to the body and a major cause of chronic illness.

When you ingest trans fats, these mutant substances basically replace the healthy saturated fats naturally found in your cell walls -- this, again, is due to the fact that they have a similar molecular structure. But trans fats are far less permeable than saturated fats, and they do not interact with other molecules in the same way that saturated fats do, which can severely alter normal bodily function. In essence, your cells require saturated fats in order to communicate with each other and maintain homeostasis - but when trans fats come into the picture, everything is thrown off kilter.

"Because trans fats are more stable chemically - the direct result of the hydrogen atoms being on opposite side of the molecule - they do not interact properly with other molecules," explains Heidi Stevenson from GreenMedInfo.com. "The cell wall itself is not as tightly bound as it should be, making it weak and more permeable than normal. Thus, molecules of toxins that would have been too large to enter a cell may now be able to squeeze through the cell wall and wreak havoc inside."

Trans fats suppress hormone production, damage adrenal glands

Cell communication is another major bodily function affected by trans fats. In order for your body to produce hormones like adrenaline, for instance, which regulates your "fight-or-flight" response to stress and emergency situations, your cells need healthy amounts of saturated fats in order to send stress hormone signals. When cells are not able to do this effectively as a result of trans fats, however, the body ends up pushing the adrenal glands to work harder than normal, which can lead to adrenal fatigue and eventually thyroid dysfunction.

"Trans fats are less chemically active, so the proper signal exchanges cannot be made and normal cell communication cannot occur. Trans fats are also shaped differently, so molecules can be stuck either inside or outside the cells. When trans fats replace saturated ones, critical nutrients may not be able to enter cells and toxins may not be able to exit. The result is a deranged metabolism, which affects every aspect of health."

Be sure to check out Heidi Stevenson's full report on trans fats, which includes visual images of the molecular structures of various fats:

Sources for this article include:




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