High triglyceride levels : as serious as cholesterol


A high triglyceride can indicate a major disorder. Triglycerides are often measured as a reflection of fat (lipid) ingestion and metabolism, or as part of an evaluation of coronary risk factors.

Triglycerides comprise the largest proportion of fats (lipids) in the diet, in the adipose tissue, and in the blood. Immediately after a meal, triglycerides appear in the blood as the major constituent of chylomicrons.

Under normal circumstances, triglycerides within chylomicrons are stripped of fatty acids as they pass through various tissues (especially adipose and skeletal muscle). The chylomicron remnant is then taken up by the liver so that chylomicrons disappear from the blood within 2 or 3 hours.

The remaining triglycerides, plus additional triglycerides synthesized within the liver, are then re-packaged as VLDL and secreted into the blood from the liver.

Triglycerides are a storage form of energy. They are stored in adipose tissue and muscle, and gradually released and metabolized between meals according to the energy needs of the body.

Normal Values

  • Normal level: Less than 150 mg/dL
  • Borderline High level: 150-199 mg/dL
  • High triglyceride level: 200-499 mg/dL
  • Very High level: 500 mg/dL or above

What abnormal results mean

A High triglyceride level may be associated with a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. This is especially true because people with high triglycerides often have other conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, that increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.

A High triglyceride level may indicate:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Familial hyperlipoproteinemia (rare)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Low protein in diet and high carbohydrates
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Pancreatitis

Low levels may indicate:

  • Malabsorption syndrome (inadequate absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract)
  • Malnutrition
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Low fat diet

If you have high Cholesterol AND a high triglyceride level your risk of a heart event goes up exponentially. You MUST deal with both substances. Ways to reduce triglyceride (TG) has been well known since the publication of a paper on the subject by P.K. Reissell's group at Harvard in 1966. Their study established clearly that TG levels can be dramatically reduced simply by the supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil, COMBINED with a low carbohydrate diet.

More information on fish oil as an efficient agent to reduce a high triglyceride level


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