Gallstones are a painful reality for many people. These calcium deposits can form in the gallbladder as a result of increased amounts of cholesterol in the blood. While it is known that consumption of trans fatty acids can adversely affect blood lipid levels, the relationship of trans fats to gallstone disease was less understood—until now.
Researchers reporting in the May 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine studied the effect of long-term trans fatty acid intake on the incidence of gallstone disease in men. In observing almost 46,000 adult men over a period of 14 years, the scientists noted a higher risk of the condition in men who ingested the highest amounts of trans fats, which are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils like those used to make margarine. “Our results suggest that a higher intake of trans fatty acids modestly increases the risk of gallstone disease,” the authors concluded.