Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Phyllis T. Croisant


The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation between dietary trans fatty acids and levels of total serum cholesterol, high and low density lipoproteins, and the ratio of total serum cholesterol to HDL in apparently healthy post-menopausal women.

Subjects (n = 21) were current members of the Eastern Illinois University Adult Fitness Program. All were moderately active Caucasian women determined to be post-menopausal and not taking hormone replacement therapy or lipid lowering medications. Mean age of the subjects was 69.1 ± 9.1 years.

Dietary intakes were assessed with the use of a multiple day food record and personal interviews. The first was a face to face interview using food models to assess portion sizes, while two following interviews were done over the telephone. Intake during one 24 hour period was collected per interview. From the collected data from the food records, grams of trans fatty acids consumed were determined for each individual. In addition fasting blood lipid profiles were obtained for each subject through venous blood samples.

The mean dietary trans fat consumed over the three day period was 51.68 ± 38.45 grams. Lipid profile values were determined for total cholesterol (TC), HDL, LDL, and HDL/TC ratio. The mean value of total cholesterol (TC) for the 21 subjects was 220.8 ± 40.5 mg/dL. The mean values for HDL and LDL were 51.2 ± 15.3 and 142.6 ± 45.7 mg/dL respectively. The mean HDL/TC ratio was 4.7 ± 1.6. The blood lipid profile values were correlated to trans fat values. The correlations (r) were calculated as follows: .29 for TC and trans fat, .14 for HDL and trans fat, .49 for LDL and trans fat, and .13 for the TC/HDL ratio and trans fat.

There were no statistically significant correlations found in this study between trans fatty acids in the diet of these women and their lipid profiles. The values show only weak relationships between trans fat and TC, HDL and TC/HDL ratio, and a moderate relationship between LDL and trans fat.