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Heart warning over saturated fat

07 September 2015 08:22

Biscuits can contain high levels of saturated fat

Biscuits can contain high levels of saturated fat

Eating too many cakes, biscuits and pastries could increase people's chances of suffering heart disease, new research suggests.

Researchers studying mice found that high levels of saturated fat in the blood can cause white blood cells to move into surrounding organs and tissues.

That process, they say, can promote damaging inflammation - a destructive immune response closely linked to stroke and heart disease. People can arrange travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions.

High levels of fat in the blood

As well as cakes and biscuits, high levels of saturated fat can be found in fatty meat and dairy products.

Published in the Cell Reports journal, the research was funded by the Wellcome Trust and led by Dr Kevin Woollard, of Imperial College London.

He says the mice his team studied had accumulated very high levels of fat in their blood. People are sometimes found to have similar levels as the mice as a result of diet or an inherited condition, he adds.

Patient studies now planned

Dr Woollard warns that eating cakes and biscuits through the day could cause the white blood cells - known as monocytes - to migrate from the blood into surrounding tissue.

The research team is now planning to study groups of patients with inflammatory diseases in a bid to establish exactly what effect the migrating cells may be having on people.

They say those with some immune disorders, such as lupus, can have very high levels of saturated fat in the blood and be more likely to have early strokes or heart attacks.