4

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Trans fats in beef

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 01, 2012 at 3:58 AM

Hopefully everyone knows the difference between the main trans fats, CLA, VA, and elaidic acid, the former two being healthy and the latter being the one that kills. And when someone is concerned about the trans fat content of beef we usually point out that CLA and VA aren't anything to be concerned about and that it's elaidic acid you need to avoid. But it looks like there is a tiny bit of elaidic acid in beef http://www.caf.wvu.edu/~forage/humanhealth.pdf (scroll down to the third page under elaidic acid).

So I want to know what the deal is and if this is a problem. This link http://www.tuscany-diet.net/sezioni.php?seid=3013 says that hydrogenation can be done by bacteria in the rumen of an animal, creating small amounts of it.

My thoughts

-It is a very small amount. -It may actually be different than the synthetically manufactured trans fat (maybe, I am not a chemist) -There is no reason to think that beef is harmful, Trans fats are supposed to cause increased levels of CRP but I and many people who eat beef regularly have negligible levels, same goes for anything else trans fats supposedly do.

Buuuuuuuuut I'm still concerned. Have at it!

edit: Grass-fed has less than grain-fed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16500874 which had little to begin with.

double edit: okay I don't know exactly how much is in it but if there is any then it is so little so as not to be worth mentioning.

7e4a3a84203668704b9c35dbcf49df85

(0)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:10 AM

In industrialized country greater part of the consumed TFA are produced industrially, in varying amounts, during partial hydrogenation of edible oils containing unsaturated FA. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils were developed in 1903 as a cheaper alternative to animal fats.... While ruminant TFA, in amounts actually consumed in diets, are not harmful for human health, consumption of industrial TFA has neither appare For more information http://www.tuscany-diet.net/sezioni.php?seid=2596

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 10:51 PM

Makes sense, thanks. I think I was just getting the isomers confused.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on April 01, 2012
at 10:03 PM

Enig suggests that they can be up to 5% of the total fat from a ruminant (not limited to cows), however they can be up to 50-60% of the fat in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Additionally, the double bonds are all over the place with the synthetic versions instead of being usually in the delta-11 position. I think it's just a matter of our bodies not knowing what the hell it is. Any amount from even slightly unhealthy ruminants is probably fine, whereas a 30g a day from an industrial process is probably not.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 09:45 PM

Matt I do think it's toxic because it can damage the arteries directly ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22216328 However I think my conclusion is that it is impossible to get a significant amount of it from beef, just by looking at the numbers. 2-5% likely refers to total trans fatty acids, not EA. Just judging by amounts of SA MUFA and PUFA in beef, and the percentage of trans fatty acids that are VA and CLA it leaves no room for significant amounts of EA.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 09:35 PM

It's probably moot in regards to beef, though. I don't think that there is a notable amount of it, just judging by the percentages of other fats that have been determined. Logically it would have to be less than 1% of it, if at all.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 09:35 PM

Matt I do think it's toxic because it can damage the arteries directly http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22216328 I agree that simply increasing cholesterol levels doesn't mean that something is harmful. However I think my conclusion is that it is impossible to get a significant amount of it from beef, just by looking at the numbers. 2-5% likely refers to total trans fatty acids, not EA. Just judging by amounts of SA MUFA and PUFA in beef, and the percentage of trans fatty acids that are VA and CLA it leaves no room for significant amounts of EA.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Animal experiments certainly suggest it. Plenty of things mitigate the effects of PUFA or fructose, that's for sure.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 01, 2012
at 08:11 PM

But then, I'm just a chemist, not a biologist.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 01, 2012
at 08:11 PM

Doesn't fit what I consider to be a toxin, but some might include it in a broader definition. Activation of CETP wouldn't be a toxic response in my mind.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 07:16 PM

More than just cholesterol, which isn't really so much of an issue. It's fallacious to say that anything that raises LDL causes heart disease when the issue is arterial health and propensity of LDl to oxidize. But as for arterial health, trans fats cause inflammation of the arteries and a reduction in nitric oxide production so they can't dilate as well ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22216328 definitely a bad thing

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 07:15 PM

More than just cholesterol, which isn't really so much of an issue. It's fallacious to say that anything that raises LDL causes heart disease when the issue is arterial health and propensity of LDl to oxidize. But as for aterial health, trans fats cause inflammation of the arteries and a reduction in nitric oxide production so they can't dilate as well http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22216328 definitely a bad thing.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 05:19 PM

Thought so. Why do you say below that it's not necessarily toxic? Is it a dose-response thing?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 01, 2012
at 12:42 PM

Chemically, elaidic acid is elaidic acid, no matter the method of production.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 01, 2012
at 12:41 PM

It's not toxic, per se.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on April 01, 2012
at 06:16 AM

I believe eladic acid upregulates cholesterolestyr transfer protein (CETP), causing lower HDL and higher LDL

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 04:53 AM

Change your pee with a thought?!

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on April 01, 2012
at 04:49 AM

I've seen some very old lady's who eat lots of pie with lots of Crisco. I don't know. I tend to think if it is chemically the same it might "behave" differently in real food than say eating a spoonful of it by itself.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on April 01, 2012
at 04:46 AM

Think positive and you will pee it all out.

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2 Answers

best answer

3
Medium avatar

on April 01, 2012
at 08:28 PM

I think this may be the same mistake that's made with the reductionist attitudes toward PUFAs or fructose. Eating a bag of chips fried in soybean oil with a cola is quite different from some raw almonds and an apple. It's the supradietary (from an evolutionary perspective) doses that are problematic.

I'm sure there's interindividual variation as well, just as there is with butterfat. I think the amount of butter that I ate per day that took my total cholesterol to 393 is probably eaten by some folks here every day with no perceptible effect (aside from a probable gradual fattening). I encounter every fatty acid in butter daily in other foods, but the overall ratios would be quite different.

I suspect that most Americans consume amounts of synthetic trans fats in amounts that were impossible to encounter before 1911 or whenever Crisco came out. It may not doom someone to a heart attack, but it's certainly not going to help one's odds.

As far as a mechanism goes, Enig states that they disrupt cellular function and interfere with the functioning of enzymes such as delta-6 desaturase, which would interfere with the conversions of the n-3/6 fatty acids. It may very well be that it's not that dietary n-6 is bad per se, but that introducing huge doses daily of synthetic trans fats creates/exacerbates an n-3 deficiency and/or prevents linoleic acid from being converted into its active forms.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 10:51 PM

Makes sense, thanks. I think I was just getting the isomers confused.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 09:35 PM

It's probably moot in regards to beef, though. I don't think that there is a notable amount of it, just judging by the percentages of other fats that have been determined. Logically it would have to be less than 1% of it, if at all.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on April 01, 2012
at 10:03 PM

Enig suggests that they can be up to 5% of the total fat from a ruminant (not limited to cows), however they can be up to 50-60% of the fat in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Additionally, the double bonds are all over the place with the synthetic versions instead of being usually in the delta-11 position. I think it's just a matter of our bodies not knowing what the hell it is. Any amount from even slightly unhealthy ruminants is probably fine, whereas a 30g a day from an industrial process is probably not.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Animal experiments certainly suggest it. Plenty of things mitigate the effects of PUFA or fructose, that's for sure.

0
429e01b74c31847aed3af35ef9973256

(427)

on April 01, 2012
at 05:24 AM

Can someone explain the biological mechanism that makes elaidic acid toxic? I've never really heard a good explanation for this by the paleo community.

Also what exactly is the difference between CLA and EA chemically? I know CLA is supposed to actually have health promoting properties.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 01, 2012
at 12:41 PM

It's not toxic, per se.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on April 01, 2012
at 06:16 AM

I believe eladic acid upregulates cholesterolestyr transfer protein (CETP), causing lower HDL and higher LDL

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 07:15 PM

More than just cholesterol, which isn't really so much of an issue. It's fallacious to say that anything that raises LDL causes heart disease when the issue is arterial health and propensity of LDl to oxidize. But as for aterial health, trans fats cause inflammation of the arteries and a reduction in nitric oxide production so they can't dilate as well http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22216328 definitely a bad thing.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2012
at 07:16 PM

More than just cholesterol, which isn't really so much of an issue. It's fallacious to say that anything that raises LDL causes heart disease when the issue is arterial health and propensity of LDl to oxidize. But as for arterial health, trans fats cause inflammation of the arteries and a reduction in nitric oxide production so they can't dilate as well ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22216328 definitely a bad thing

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