The various positional isomers of oleic acid (18 : 1Δ9c or 9c-18 : 1) may have distinct biological effects. Detrimental effects of consumption of industrial trans-fatty acids (TFA) (elaidic acid; 18 : 1Δ9t) from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils on CVD risk factors are well documented. In addition, epidemiological data suggest that chronic consumption of industrial sources of TFA could alter insulin sensitivity and predispose for type 2 diabetes. However, intervention studies on this issue have remained inconclusive. Moreover, very little information is available on the effect of natural sources of TFA (vaccenic acid; 18 : 1Δ11t) coming from dairy products and ruminant meat on the development of CVD and type 2 diabetes. The review focuses on the impact of the consumption of ruminant TFA in relation to cardiovascular risk factors, inflammation and type 2 diabetes.
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