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Studies Show These Two Types Of Fats Are Injurious To Your Gut

gut health trans fats

Avoiding certain fats is how to improve gut health naturally according to two studies out of Singapore and Sweden and will reduce Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and even cancerous tumors.


Approximately five million people suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Diseases worldwide, which are chronic diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s and Colitis that cause discomfort, diarrhea, abdominal pain, inflammation, weight loss, blood in stools, fever and may increase the risk of colon tumors.

Saturated Fats Cause Gut Inflammation

Research out of Singapore from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) confirmed that foods high in saturated fat contribute to gut inflammation, while trans fats are injurious to gut health. The results were found in two recently published studies.

The first study -- a two-year joint project between NTU and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden -- found prolonged consumption of saturated fat depresses the amount of a naturally occurring protein, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22458843 Angiopoietin-like 4, a remarkably multifaceted protein that is involved in many metabolic and non-metabolic conditions. This triggers immune cells to act, hence resulting in gut inflammation overtime.

Related Article: Health Risks of Trans-Fats and Why States are Banning Their Use

"A high intake of saturated fat could increase the prevalence and replication of harmful pathogens, suppressing Angiopoietin-like 4 and causing severe inflammation," said associate professor Andrew Tan of NTU's School of Biological Sciences.

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Co-author of the study, Assoc Prof Velmurugesan Arulampalam, from the Core Facility for Germfree Research (CFGR) at KI, said: “This study further underlines the need to look at the bigger picture of how microbes, food and the environment interact, in order to understand what is health and potentially treat certain diseases”.

Low Fat Is Where It’s At When It Comes To Gut Health

The findings affirm that consumption of wholesome plant-based foods with less fat and high probiotic content, usually found in farm fresh or freshly picked organic produce and raw organic honey, are higher in probiotics and hence, more beneficial for the gut. These foods contain natural occurring “friendly” bacteria that are protective of gut health.

Trans fats, however, are proven to be more injurious to the human gut.

In a related study, NTU and Wageningen University in the Netherlands, worked to research on the effects of trans fat on gut health.

Related Article: High Trans Fat Diets Increase Women's Stroke Risk

Prolonged Ingestion of Trans Fat Leads to Cardiovascular Disease

The recently published study in The Journal of Lipid Research showed that trans fat also lowered the Angiopoietin-like 4 levels, but does not result in gut inflammation. However, prolonged consumption of trans fat can lead to fatty liver and hardening of the arteries, which leads to cardiovascular disease.

Plant-based Fats Are Healthier Choices

In short, foods low in fat. or those high in plant-based fat, such as avocado, coconuts, which are high in lauric acid, and olive oil, are preferred fats instead of trans fats such as butter or margarine to improve and maintain optimum gut health.