The deleterious effects of trans fatty acids (TFAs) on cardiovascular health are well established; however, their impact on type 2 diabetes remains poorly understood. In particular, little is known about the impact of specific TFA types on type 2 diabetes etiology. We aimed to explore the associations between different types of TFAs (total, ruminant, industry produced [iTFAs], and corresponding specific isomers) and risk of type 2 diabetes.


A total of 105,551 participants age >18 years from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort (2009–2021) were included (mean baseline age 42.7 years; SD 14.6 years); 79.2% were women. Dietary intake data, including usual TFA intake, were collected using repeated 24-h dietary records (n = 5.7; SD 3.1). Associations between sex-specific quartile of dietary TFAs and diabetes risk were assessed using multivariable Cox models.


Total TFA intake was associated with higher type 2 diabetes risk (hazard ratio [HR]quartile 4 vs. 1 1.38; 95% CI 1.11–1.73; Ptrend < 0.001; n = 969 incident cases). This association, specifically observed for iTFAs (HR 1.45; 95% CI 1.15–1.83; Ptrend < 0.001), was mainly driven by elaidic acid (HR 1.37; 95% CI 1.09–1.72; Ptrend < 0.001) and linolelaidic acid (HR 1.29; 95% CI 1.04–1.58; Ptrend = 0.07). In contrast, ruminant TFAs were not significantly associated with risk of type 2 diabetes.


In this large prospective cohort, higher intakes of total and iTFAs were associated with increased type 2 diabetes risk. These findings support the World Health Organization’s recommendation to eliminate iTFAs from the food supply worldwide. Consumers should be advised to limit the consumption of food products containing partially hydrogenated oils (main vector of iTFAs). This may contribute to lowering the substantial global burden of type 2 diabetes.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.21543030.

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