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Originally published October 27 2008

The Danger of Trans Fats may be Passed from Mother to Child through Breastfeeding

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) When a breastfeeding woman consumes trans-fats, she may be harming not only herself, but also passing on health problems to her child both as an infant and as an adult, according to a study conducted by researchers from the State University of Rio de Janeiro and published in the journal Nutrition.

"Our data strongly suggest that trans fats ingestion during early life is particularly related to insulin resistance and to the consequent impairment of cardiac glucose metabolism in adulthood," the researchers wrote.

Trans fats are a variety of fat molecules that have no nutritional benefit to the body and are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and death. The fats increase inflammation, the risk of endolethial dysfunction, and levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, while lowering levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. While minute quantities of trans fats naturally occur in meat and dairy products, the vast majority of them are artificially produced as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which have a longer shelf life than more natural oils.

Researchers fed lactating rats either a regular diet supplemented with soybean oil or with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. In the hydrogenated oil group, trans fats made up 11.75 percent of the total fat intake. After weaning, the rat pups were fed the same diet as their mothers for another 60 days.

At 60 days after weaning, the hearts of the rats in the trans fat group were observed to have a decreased ability to absorb sugar from the blood. This increases the risk of insulin sensitivity and Type 2 diabetes, which is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

The rats in the trans fat group were also observed to have hampered insulin sensitivity once they became adults, another risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

Due to the well-documented dangers of trans fats, a number of food manufacturers have pledged to remove them from their products and some cities have banned their use in restaurants.

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