Triglycerides are a big word for a big problem!

Triglycerides

Triglycerides...A big word that can create a big problem.

Gene Millen, Author - Revised 5/12/15

Triglycerides, also known as TGs, are a group of fatty compounds that circulate in the bloodstream and are stored in the fat tissue. The medical term for high TGs is hypertriglyceridemia. (I'm sure you wanted to know this.)

Although their measurement is part of a standard blood lipid profile, until recently they were not recognized by many physicians as being a significant risk factor for a heart attack.

One reason is that it has been hard to pin down the specific effect of triglycerides as most people with high triglycerides also have

  • high LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff)

  • low HDL cholesterol (the good guys)

  • high blood pressure

  • and/or obesity

A new study from researchers at the University of Munster GERMANY provides evidence that an elevated triglyceride level is something to be very concerned about.

Their study involved 19,698 men and women, aged 16 to 65 years, who were enrolled between 1979 and 1985. After 8 years of follow-up the researchers concluded that elevated triglyceride levels are a significant and independent risk factor for a heart attack or sudden cardiac death.

They concluded that high triglyceride levels alone or in combination with high LDL levels and low HDL levels can be deadly.

HDL cholesterol acts like a miniature hydraulic vacuum cleaner, streaming through your arteries scooping up the heart-stopping LDL cholesterol, and carrying it back to your liver

Whenever triglycerides are increased, HDL cholesterol decreases. A combination of high triglyceride levels with a high LDL level and a LDL:HDL ratio greater than 5 was found to increase risk of heart attack a whopping 600%! Heart attack risk chart

This association held true even after adjusting for age, blood pressure, smoking, angina, diabetes, and family history of heart disease.

Other studies have found that an 88 mg/dL increase in triglyceride levels alone, increased the risk of cardiovascular disease in men by 30% and by 75% in women.

Elevated triglycerides in the blood have been positively linked to proneness to heart disease, but these triglycerides do not come directly from dietary fats; they are made in the liver from any excess sugars that have not been used for energy.

The source of these excess sugars is any food containing carbohydrates, particularly refined sugar and white flour.

Some Things You Can Do To Lower Triglycerides

  • Eat plenty of fish, especially cold water fish.
    A study found an average reduction of 38% in triglyceride levels and an increase of HDL levels of 24% in both men and women consuming fish on a daily basis.

  • If you have trouble eating fish daily
    ...and most of us do. you can take your fish oil in capsule form. Independent research has shown that fish oil supplementation is highly effective in reducing triglyceride levels and lowering the triglyceride/HDL ratio.

  • Cut way back on the sugar. Sugar is a triple whammy. It not only increases triglycerides but is actually toxic to the cells and over time causes insulin resistance leading to diabetes.

  • Stop smoking - (as if you needed another reason)

Jonny Bowden, author of "Living the Low-Carb Life" says "Research data consistently finds three common factors in people who are mentally and physically fit and live to be at least 100 years old."

  • low triglycerides

  • high HDL cholesterol

  • a low level of fasting insulin

You can lower triglycerides with omega 3 supplements and the one I use and recommend is Krill Oil. It is a sure fire solution that will get you on the road to outstanding heart health!

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