Definition of Triglycerides Blood Levels

Triglycerides Blood LevelsThe amount of the fatty acid group, triglycerides, that is present in the blood circulation. Most of the body’s fats are in the chemical form of triglycerides, which provide the body with energy.

The cells draw triglycerides from the blood to meet their immediate energy needs.

The body acquires triglycerides from dietary sources as well as manufactures them. During digestion the gastrointestinal tract extracts triglycerides from dietary saturated fats such as are abundant in meats.

When the level of triglycerides in the blood meets or exceeds the body’s needs, the liver converts excess calories that derive from any dietary source into triglycerides.

The body stores excess triglycerides in fat cells, drawing from these stored energy supplies when demand, such as increased physical activity, exceeds the triglycerides available in the blood circulation.

Causes of High Triglycerides Blood Levels and Prevention

In general, blood triglyceride levels rise when cholesterol blood levels, and particularly lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), are elevated. Blood triglyceride levels also tend to be elevated in obesity and diabetes. The role elevated blood triglyceride levels play in cardiovascular disease (cvd) remains unclear.

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), a consensus group of health experts, has established healthy and unhealthy levels of triglycerides in the blood based on correlations between elevated levels and cardiovascular conditions such as atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease (cad), and peripheral vascular disease (pvd), as people who have these conditions typically have elevated blood triglycerides as well.

Doctors recommend lifestyle modifications such as reducing dietary saturated fat and alcohol consumption, increased daily exercise, and weight loss and weight management when triglyceride levels are slightly elevated (marginal) and often prescribe lipid-lowering medications when triglyceride levels are high or very high.

Some people have elevated triglyceride blood levels and healthy cholesterol blood levels. For them, doctors recommend vigilance to maintain healthy cholesterol blood levels and annual monitoring, along with lifestyle habits that support overall cardiovascular health.

TRIGLYCERIDE BLOOD LEVELS (MILLIGRAMS PER DECILITER)
less than 150 mg/dLhealthy
150 to 199 mg/dLmarginal
200 to 499 mg/dLhigh
500 mg/dL or highervery high

See also CALORIE; DIET AND CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH; DIET AND HEALTH; HYPERLIPIDEMIAMEDICATIONS TO TREAT CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE; NUTRIENTS.

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