High Triglycerides

As the primary form of fat storage in the body, triglycerides provide energy and serve as building blocks for cells; however, high triglycerides in the blood can increase your risk for developing certain medical conditions, including heart disease. The condition occurs in about 10 percent of people. Associated factors include obesity, lack of physical activity, a high-carbohydrate diet, and excessive alcohol use.

High Triglycerides: An Introduction

Triglycerides are the main storage form of fat in the body, and are important for its overall functioning. However, high triglycerides in the blood (known as hypertriglyceridemia) can lead to health problems.

Understanding Triglycerides

Triglycerides have two important uses within the body:
  • Creating energy
  • Serving as building blocks for cells.
Triglycerides come from the fats in foods (saturated fat and unsaturated fat). They are also made in the liver from carbohydrates and proteins. Triglycerides are mostly stored in fat cells, but other cells (such as muscle cells) store some. To get to these cells, triglycerides are transferred with complexes called lipoproteins (specifically chylomicrons and VLDL, or very low density lipoproteins).
Triglyceride levels in the blood are categorized as shown in the following table.
Triglyceride Levels
Triglyceride Category
Less than 150 mg/dL
150-199 mg/dL
Borderline high
200-499 mg/dL
500 mg/dL or above
Very high
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About High Triglycerides

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