Scientific and technical assistance on trans fatty acids
The European Commission asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to compile the outcomes of scientific advice already provided by EFSA with regard to the health effects of trans fats, in particular in the areas of nutrition and health claims, dietary reference values (DRVs) and food additives, and to inform the Commission on how such scientific advice relates to current goals and recommendations regarding the intake of trans fats to maintain health. The scientific advice provided by the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies in the areas of health claims made on food and DRVs and the scientific advice provided by the EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food in the area of food additives, regarding the health effects of trans fatty acids (TFA) in mixed diets is consistent with the scientific basis underlying most recent DRVs, nutritional goals and recommendations, and dietary guidelines for trans fatty acids (TFA) set by other national and international bodies. Data from controlled intervention studies show that consumption of diets containing TFA has adverse effects on blood lipids that predict an increase in coronary heart disease (CHD) risk compared with the consumption of diets containing cis‐monounsaturated fatty acids or cis‐polyunsaturated fatty acids, and that the effect is dose‐dependent. Prospective cohort studies showed a consistent association between higher intakes of TFA and increased risk of CHD. The consistency of the evidence from these two types of studies provides strong support for the conclusion that TFA intake has a dose‐dependent linear effect that increases the risk of CHD as compared to the intake of other fatty acids in the diet. With few exceptions, latest national and international recommendations indicate that dietary intakes of TFA should be as low as possible.