The findings of a new study suggest that high levels of consumption of trans-fats could have an adverse affect on memory. The more trans-fat a person eats, the less he will remember, it seems to suggest. Scientists working on this project carefully studies the diet charts and eating habits of 1,000 healthy men of working age.


They were all shown 104 cards with words on them, and after being shown every new card the subjects were asked if the word was new or had been repeated. After a series of experiments, the scientists safely concluded that those with higher level of trans-fats in their blood remembered lower words than those with lesser trans-fats.

“For each extra gram of trans fat eaten a day, the person in the study remembered .76 fewer words. The men who ate the most trans-fat in the study remembered a total of about 10% fewer words compared with the adults who ate the least amount of trans-fat, even when filtered for demographic qualities that typically affect one’s memory like age, depression and education,” it was observed.

This is not the first time that scientists have suggested a relationship between high fat diets and memory loss. And though the findings of a study like this might not help establish a clear cause-and-effect relationship, it has led the community to begin speculating on those lines. It is being suggested that trans-fat consumption could be linked to oxidative stress, a kind of cell damage.

Dr. Olivia Okereke, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has studied this issue with an older female population and thinks the oxidative stress theory is plausible. She also wonders whether there were other factors in the men’s lives that lead to memory problems.

“Many of the men consuming the highest amounts of trans-fat may also be the ones with the least healthy lifestyles or with the highest prevalence of health problems,” she said.

Whether or not the findings of this study are latest corroborated, there is no doubt about the existence of a relationship between the consumption of trans-fats and obesity, which is considered to be one of the major threats to health in America.

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