What Are Triglycerides?
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
Triglycerides are fatty lipids in your blood.
Higher levels of circulating triglycerides are associated with certain conditions and cardiovascular risks.
Working to support healthy triglyceride homeostasis can start with taking one 100mg fatty15 capsule daily.*
If you’ve recently had a lipid panel that revealed you have high triglycerides, you might be scratching your head. You already know you need to watch your cholesterol levels, but now you’re being told you also need to lower triglycerides to stay healthy.
It can be confusing trying to decipher the difference between triglycerides and cholesterol. We’ll explain what they are, why they matter, and what you can do to lower triglyceride levels.
What Is a Blood Panel?
When your healthcare provider orders a blood lipid panel, they are measuring several types of molecules in your blood.
- Low-density lipoprotein. LDL cholesterol is also commonly referred to as your bad cholesterol. This type of cholesterol can build up in your arteries and lead to heart attack and stroke.
- High-density lipoprotein. HDL cholesterol is your good cholesterol. This type of cholesterol helps remove low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from your bloodstream.
- Triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. This fat usually comes from extra calories (calories you consume but do not burn off) stored in fat cells.
Your doctor uses these measurements to determine your blood cholesterol level and whether or not you have high triglycerides or hypertriglyceridemia.
Why Do Triglycerides Matter?
Having high triglyceride levels isn’t good for your body. High triglycerides can lead to the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. This condition can worsen, leading to coronary artery disease.
If triglyceride levels become extremely high, you may develop pancreatitis, a condition that causes the pancreas to become inflamed.
High triglycerides can also indicate other negative health conditions that can increase your risk of certain cardiovascular threats. These include:
- Metabolic Syndrome. This refers to a cluster of health conditions that can place you at a higher risk of cardiovascular events. They include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin resistance (high blood sugar), and excess weight.
- Type 2 Diabetes. Having high levels of triglycerides can indicate you may also be prediabetic or have developed insulin resistance. A blood test can measure your blood sugar levels.
- Hypothyroidism. In some cases, high blood triglycerides may indicate that your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones.
Because of the increased risks to your heart health, it’s important to ensure your triglyceride levels are in a healthy range. The good news is that it’s easy to keep your triglyceride levels low with a few simple dietary and lifestyle changes.
How Can I Lower My Triglycerides?
Although your doctor may prescribe statins to help lower your cholesterol levels, you can take charge of your health and work to reduce your triglyceride levels on your own. Here are five ways to start taking back control of triglyceride levels.
1. Regular Exercise
If you’ve been slacking at the gym, it’s time to get moving. One of the most effective ways to lower triglyceride levels is by getting enough physical activity. Just 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can help raise your good cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides.
2. Healthy Diet
A healthful diet is essential to keeping your body functioning properly and your triglyceride levels low. Not sure where to begin? Here are some easy pointers.
- Avoid red meat. Try switching to leaner proteins like fish and chicken.
- Swap out simple carbohydrates for whole grains. Simple carbs like sugar, white bread, and white flour are void of nutritional value. Whole grains contain fiber that can help move triglycerides out of your bloodstream into the intestines.
- Skip the sugary drinks. Colas, teas, and heavily flavored coffees can pack extra fat and calories your body doesn’t need. Drink water and keep your coffee black to shave off calories.
Maintaining a healthy diet is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.
3. Lose Weight
Obesity and high triglyceride levels often go hand in hand. Obesity is a BMI over 30. If you have trouble losing weight, talk to your doctor about your options. Losing weight can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
4. Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol contains empty calories from sugar and can potentially raise triglyceride levels. It may not take much alcohol to raise your triglyceride levels. If your triglycerides are high, consider cutting down on how much you drink.
5. Get Fat Savvy
You’ve probably heard that some fats are healthy for you, while some are not. With all the information circulating about fats, it can be hard to determine the right ones to consume and which ones to avoid.
In general, trans fats in prepackaged foods are bad for you, while fats found naturally in foods like avocados and walnuts are healthy. But what about omega-3 fatty acids?
Often marketed as heart-healthy supplements, fish oil supplements containing omega-3s might be able to support your heart health and help you lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Can Omega-3s Help With Triglycerides?
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. That means they are liquid at room temperature. These acids are often referred to as essential because the body needs them to function but cannot readily make them on its own.
Research has shown that omega-3 may help support heart and blood vessel health, but it doesn’t always indicate that it can help lower triglyceride levels.
Where Does Omega-3 Come From?
Omega-3 is found in fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, and sardines. As such, most supplements contain fish oil from the skins of these fatty fish. If you’ve ever been a victim of “fish burps” after taking your omega-3 supplement, this is why.
Facts About Omega-3
Although omega-3 is said to be essential, only one type of omega-3 fatty acid (ALA) is essential. EPA and DHA are not generally considered essential, although virtually every fish oil supplement contains them.
Because omega-3 is polyunsaturated fat, it is subject to lipid oxidation; it can go rancid, just like cooking oil that has been open too long. When omega-3 oxidizes, it can become toxic to your cells.
Lastly, large amounts of omega-3, the amount typically required to impact your health (between 2,000-3,000mg), can cause some pretty undesirable side effects like:
- Unhealthy low blood pressure
- Thinning of the blood
- Excessive bleeding if you get an injury
- Increased risk of bruising
The risk factors for omega-3 side effects increase with the amount of omega-3 you take. Fortunately, a better, broader, and safer way to support healthy triglyceride and cholesterol homeostasis is called fatty15.*
Fatty15: No Fishy Business
Fatty15 is the first and only supplement to contain the pure, vegan-friendly version of a fatty acid called C15:0. This odd-chain, saturated fatty acid has been accepted as the first essential fatty acid to have been discovered since the omegas over 90 years ago.
How Does Fatty15 Work?
C15:0 (the only ingredient in fatty15) naturally binds to receptors found throughout our bodies, called PPARs (pronounced pee-pars), that help to regulate our metabolism, including our cholesterol and glucose homeostasis.*
Daily fatty15 supplementation helped to promote healthy cholesterol and triglyceride homeostasis.*
Fatty15 also helps support your cells in some significant ways:*
- Mitochondria support. As we age, the powerhouses of our cells become sluggish, making it harder for our cells to function as they should. Fatty15 helps improve mitochondrial function by 45 percent.*
- Cell membrane support. Aging cells have membranes that are weak and flimsy. Fatty15 is a sturdy fatty acid that integrates into the cell membranes, strengthening and fortifying them.*
Fatty15 works at the cellular level to support your long-term metabolic, immune, heart, and liver health. In addition, two-thirds of customers report near-term benefits within 6 weeks, including deeper sleep, less snacking, and calmer mood. The best part — you get all the benefits of an essential fatty acid without the fishy taste.
Triglycerides That Make Your Doctor Happy
Even if your triglycerides are borderline high, you can take action to support your health and lower them. Eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, limiting your alcohol can foster a healthy lifestyle, and adding a fatty acid supplement into your daily routine.*
For healthy triglyceride homeostasis, the choice is clear. Fatty15 helps support your cells better than other options, and it does it without any fishy ingredients.*
Broader and safer clinically-relevant activities of pentadecanoic acid compared to omega-3: Evaluation of an emerging essential fatty acid across twelve primary human cell-based disease systems | PLOS ONE
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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