Triglycerides: Important Facts

Majority of individuals are accustomed with cholesterol but few are knowledgeable about triglycerides. Elevated triglycerides are an important risk factor for heart disease regardless of so-called bad cholesterol Low Density Lipoprotein [LDL]) and other well-known risk factors.

Similar to elevated levels of fasting triglycerides, very high levels of non-fasting triglycerides may also increase the risk for coronary heart disease. There is growing interest in assessing triglycerides in individuals who have not fasted. The reasoning is that a non-fasting level of triglycerides may be more characteristic of the typical circulating level of triglyceride. Since majority of the day blood lipid levels reflect a non-fasting level.

High triglyceride is the third leading cause of acute pancreatitis after gallstone disease and alcohol. A triglyceride molecule is a combination of three molecules of fatty acids plus glycerides. It is the most common form of fat that humans digest. Changes in lifestyle habits are first-line therapy for all lipid disorders, including elevated triglycerides.

A regular exercise schedule consisting of at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity (e.g., brisk walking), smoking cessation, and restriction of alcohol use and avoidance of high carbohydrate diets could help to reduce triglyceride levels in blood.

Individuals with high blood glucose level or unregulated diabetes may have higher blood triglyceride level. Certain drugs like corticosteroids, protease inhibitors for HIV, beta blockers, and estrogens may increase blood triglyceride levels.

The American Heart Association, the US Department of Agriculture, and Health and Human Services endorse regular intake of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, mackerel, and trout) that deliver omega-3 fatty acids (docosahexanoic acid [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]).

Intake of 8 ounces of fatty fish in 7 days offers an average of nearly 500 mg/d DHA and EPA.

Treatment consisting of 4 g of omega-3 fatty acids per day resulted in a median reduction of triglycerides of almost 45%. For patients who have severe hypertriglyceridemia (equal or greater than 500mg/dl), therapeutic options recommend lowering triglycerides by including in the patient’s diet 4g/d omega-3 fatty acids, fibrates, high doses of niacin and, if needed, high doses of statins.

Article Source: Triglycerides: A Seldom-Acknowledged Part of Lipids Discover how to prevent heart and vascular disease and read more about cholesterol and lipid management at http://themedcircle.com/

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