What Topic did you chose to research?
I chose Trans-fat, specifically trans-(E)-9-Octadecenoic, as my topic. This is an unsaturated fat first added to foods in the early 1950’s due to its belief that it would be a healthier alternative to saturated fat.
Why did you choose that particular topic?
I chose this topic because I want to become a dietitian and I know that trans-fat is harmful to your body, because it increases low density lipoproteins (LDL) commonly called the “Bad Cholesterol” and lowers the High-Density-Lipoprotein or “Good Cholesterol” which may result in clogged up arteries(1), but I want to know more about it.
Would you say that this is a topic that everyone should know something about? Explain your answer
I believe that the information I will learn will be beneficial for others who which to know more about the nutrients they put in their bodies.
What are the most important chemicals that are related to your topic? (show the chemical formulas and structures of the chemicals with the key functional groups identified)
Another term for trans-fat is Elaidic acid and its chemical formula is CH3(CH2)7CHCH(CH2)7CO2H or simply put C16H24O2.(2) The whole structure of a trans-fat is shown below: (3)
In order the functioning groups in trans-(E)-9-0ctandecanoic are
1. Alkene (which is a double carbon bond)
2. Carboxylic acid
What are some relevant physical or chemical properties of these Chemicals?
Trans fat interacts with blood cholesterol levels because it is a Elaidic acid. A study done by Scientific Psychic recorded blood cholesterol levels when people ingested Elaidic acid had an increase of LDL or “Bad” cholesterol and decrease of HDL or “Good” cholesterol. Scientific Psychic also recorded that trans fats had an impact on brain and nervous system. Because the human neural tissue in composed of 70% fatty acids it is no surprise that trans fats have begun to show up in that tissue. However, the trans fats have begun to replace the natural DHA in the membrane which in short makes it possible for the membrane to degenerate and diminish mental performance. (4)
What key reactions are involved with your topic?
Hydrogenation reaction which is when the fat ends up converting a special type of double bond called a cis double bond into trans double bonds. During hydrogenation the naturally occurring cis bond where both of the hydrogens are on the same side as the cis bond, is converted into a trans bond by moving the hydrogens on the other side of the cis bond. That is when it is fully hydrogenated, however if only one hydrogen is moved on the opposite side of the cis bond then it is only partially hydrogenated (5). Below is a simple hydrogenation reaction which displays how when a hydrogen is added to an alkene it becomes an alkane (6) .
H2C=CH2 + H2 —> CH3CH3
Hydration of oils requires oleic acid, linoleic acid, or alpha-linolenic acid because they have a Cis bond or one, two and three respectably. When these acids are fully hydrogenated they are converted into a stearic acid, which is commonly found in the average diet. When these acids are partially hydrogenated the cis bond is converted into a trans double bond, which can lead to the assumption that in fully hydrogenated oils the level of trans fatty acids is lower(7).
Provide examples of how your topic is related to what was studied in our class and how you could use your classroom experience to help explain your subject to a friend or family member. Please bullet and list the examples in your submittal
• The functioning groups of which alkene and carboxylic acid were mentioned
a. An alkene is a double bond between two carbons
b. An carboxylic acid is a oxygen double bonded to a carbon which is bonded to a oxygen and a hydrogen (8)
• Electronegativity which is the pull an atom has on another atom or functioning group to attract electrons towards itself. Without this the trans-fat molecule would fall apart because there would be no pull keeping it together.
What are some key environmental or social impacts related to the chemicals involved with your topic Trans Fat is claimed to increase your risk of cancer, based on the fact that they interfere with the enzymes your body uses to fight cancer. Trans fatty acids can also interfere with insulin receptors in cell membranes and cause diabetes. Based on that fact it can be concluded that it reduces your immune response. Still trans-fat interferes with reproduction enzymes that are needed to produce sex hormones (9). There is another claim that it may cause memory problems. A study done by the New York Times showed that those who ate trans-fat in great quantities remembered eleven fewer words then those who didn’t eat trans-fat(10). Unfortunately, another study done by Canadians showed that on average 7,2% of the fatty acids in human breast milk now contains trans fatty acids originating from the mother consuming partially hydrogenated vegetable oils(11).
If there was one thing that everyone should know about your topic what do you think is the most important to remember?
Usually when something is created for the reason of helping people and ends up becoming a health hazard, the chemists get blamed, however we as the demanders asked for this chemical and we should understand that it is our fault that the idea for this was even considered, not the chemists who were only trying to help society. ?