What are Triglycerides - Functions, Sources, Symptoms, Health Effects

Are you wondering - what are triglycerides?

You might have heard of triglycerides and how lowering your triglyceride level is important, but what is this substance in the first place? More importantly, why should you be concerned about the levels that they bring?

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A note about What are Triglycerides - Functions, Sources, Symptoms, Health Effects

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

Functions of Triglycerides

Triglycerides and cholesterol are two forms of fat. Triglycerides are important because they provide a lot of the energy that cells need in order to function properly. Carbohydrates provide energy, too, but triglycerides can provide twice the amount of energy that carbs do. They can be found in blood plasma and help form the plasma lipids, along with cholesterol. The calories that you consume and that are not immediately used are converted into triglycerides and then stored.

Thus, providing energy is an important answer to the question 'what are triglycerides useful for'.

Sources of Triglycerides

What are triglyceride main sources?

Dietary triglycerides chiefly come from dairy and meat products. The lipids are taken from the gut into the liver, where they are then processed. Once there, the liver ensures that the rest of the body gets the triglycerides that they need. If the liver can't get dietary lipids, then it produces its own triglycerides.

The liver then packages the cholesterol and triglycerides, along with special proteins, into tiny spheres called lipoproteins. The lipoproteins are released into circulation, and are delivered to the cells of the body. The cells remove cholesterol and triglycerides from the lipoproteins, as they are needed.

Triglycerides can also come through the consumption of carbohydrates. Most of the time, carbohydrates are naturally turned into triglycerides, and therefore a diet that is high in carbohydrates might also increase your triglyceride levels.

Health Effects of High Triglycerides

In understanding what are triglycerides, the next question to ask then, is, what happens when there are elevated triglyceride levels?

Sometimes, a body's triglyceride levels become too high. When this occurs, the body's risk of heart disease can be elevated. An elevated triglyceride level can also be associated with diabetes, excessive blood clotting, insulin resistance, and low levels of HDL cholesterol. High triglyceride levels are also directly linked to pancreatitis and obesity. Chronic pancreatitis can cause diarrhea, long-term pain, and nausea.

Symptoms of High Triglycerides; Normal Triglyceride Readings

What are high triglyceride levels characterized by?

Unfortunately, high triglycerides do not normally cause symptoms until it is too late, such as with heart disease. For that reason, it is important to have your levels checked with any blood work that you might be having completed. It is also important that you have this done on a regular basis, especially if you have any other underlying health problems, such as obesity.

According the American Heart Association, normal levels of triglycerides are less than 150 milligrams per deciliter. A borderline high is 150 to 199 mg/dl, while high is 200 to 499 mg/dl. Very high levels of triglycerides are levels that are 500 mg/dl and above.

Lowering Triglycerides

The good news is that triglyceride levels can usually be lowered naturally with simple lifestyle changes, without resorting to any medication. By watching your diet, not smoking, eating healthy foods and getting plenty of exercise, you can keep your triglyceride levels low.

This can be especially important for people with pancreatitis, which is a chronic illness that does not have a conventional medical cure. By lowering your triglyceride levels, the symptoms, such as pain after eating, can be treated and alleviated in many cases.


Do you now have a better idea of 'what are triglycerides'? Learn more by reading the other related triglycerides articles and pages.

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