Facts on fats

Authors


Dr Elaine Chong, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Locked Bag 8, East Melbourne 3002, Victoria, Australia. Email: e.chong2@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may share common risk factors in their causal pathways. Decades of research from the cardiovascular sciences on fats have led investigators to focus on specific types of fats rather than total fat as a whole. They have established that saturated and trans-unsaturated fats (trans fats) are damaging to cardiovascular health while polyunsaturated fats, particularly the marine omega 3 fatty acids appear protective. This has led to a number of studies investigating the associations of fat and AMD. Though the causal relationship between fats and AMD remain unproven, some studies suggest that an association may be present. To be able to understand and interpret the study results and their implications, an understanding of the fats in the diet is important. This review aims to give an overview of fatty acids, particularly the trans-unsaturated fatty acids, and the relevant food groups.

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