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Research scientists at St. Boniface Hospital and University of Manitoba have published a study suggesting that vaccenic acid (VA) – a natural trans fatty acid found in small amounts in milk and dairy products like yogurt and cheese – could actually aid in reducing the incidence of heart disease. This finding indicates that we can no longer assume that all trans fats are harmful.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition in collaboration with scientists from the University of Laval, was led by Dr. Grant Pierce, a member of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at St Boniface Hospital and a Professor of Physiology within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. The work indicated that a diet fed to animals including the trans fat vaccenic acid helped protect against atherosclerotic plaque buildup in arteries – the primary cause of blockages resulting in a heart attack or stroke. The study measured actual reductions in arterial plaque by eating natural trans fats ‐ by as much as 31%.

For information on Dr. Pierce’s Research laboratory , click here.