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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Completed Studies
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1 - Sterol
2 - Blackberry
3 - Cranberry
4 - Anthocyanin
5 - Garlic 2010
6 - Almond
7 - Pistachio
8 - Lipid
9 - Whey Protein and Blood Pressure



Main Study Questions


1. Do naturally occurring trans fatty acids raise LDL cholesterol in when compared to trans fatty acids from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils?


2.  Do naturally occurring trans fatty acids raise LDL cholesterol compared to a control diet?


3.  Do trans fatty acids from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil raise LDL cholesterol compared to a low trans fatty acid diet?


Motivation for Research


There are two primary sources of dietary trans fatty acids in the food supply: 1) those from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and 2) those found naturally in ruminant products (e.g., dairy, beef, lamb).


Since dietary trans fatty acids have been linked to cardiovascular disease, recent food labeling regulations have required that the trans fatty acid content of certain foods be listed on the Nutrition Facts panel.  


It is unclear if all isomers of trans fatty acids have the same effect on risk factors for cardiovascular disease.  Results from animal studies suggest that some naturally occurring trans fatty acids may actually lower cholesterol and decrease plaque buildup in arteries.  


The aim of this study is to determine if the different trans fatty acid isomers have different effects on markers for heart disease. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants to learn about how different types of fat in your diet can change your cholesterol level.


You may be eligible if:


Your BMI is between 20 and 38 kg/m2 (Click here to find your BMI)

You are between 25 and 65 years of age during the intervention

Your fasting glucose (blood sugar) is less than 126 mg/dl

Your blood pressure is less than 160/100 mm Hg (may be controlled with certain medications)

Your total plasma cholesterol is less than 280 mg/dl

Your fasting triglycerides are less than 300 mg/dl

You will not be eligible if:     


You use prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements that alter lipid metabolism.

You have type 2 diabetes requiring the use of oral antidiabetic agents or insulin.

You have active cardiovascular disease (such as heart attack or procedure within the past three months or participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program within last three months, stroke or history/treatment for transient ischemic attacks in the past three months, or documented history of pulmonary embolus in past six months).

You smoke or use tobacco during the 6 months prior to the start of the study.



The Lipid Study has been complete since September 2009 and the data analysis phase has begun.  








Principal Investigator:

David Baer 301-504-8719 (


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Last Modified: 11/8/2013
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