Submitted by Thiruvelan on Thu, 06/24/2010

Triglyceride is the major type of fat found in the blood and stored in the fat cells. It is the commonly available fat throughout the body and is the major source of energy.

What are triglycerides?

From the foods you eat; your body receives needed energy. Available extra unused calories are converting into triglycerides. And stored in fat cells for future requirements. If you consume excess calories, this leads to high triglycerides. More specifically, sugar or refined carbohydrates consumption.

High triglycerides (Hypertriglyceridemia)

Triglyceride is important for health; but, the quantity should be within healthy range.

High triglyceride is a clear indicator of increased heart disease risk & metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of health conditions. These health conditions are hypertension, diabetes, big waist, low HDL & high triglycerides. Metabolic syndrome raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems.

Triglycerides are part of normal lipid profile test along with different cholesterol levels.

  • Optimal less than 150 mg/dL (<1.69 mmol/dl)
  • Borderline risk 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.69 to 2.25 mmol/dl)
  • High risk more than 199 mg/dL (>2.25 mmol/dl)

High triglyceride is a well-known heart disease sign than any other cholesterol levels.

Lowering triglycerides is one of the major health benefits you can achieve. You can achieve this by lowering dietary sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Increased sugar and refined carbohydrate intake will elevate insulin level in blood. Increased insulin level leads to elevated triglycerides, raised blood pressure, and lowered HDL cholesterol. This chronic high insulin level leads to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Avoid or reduce sugar and processed carbohydrate foods can lower triglycerides and fasting insulin. Both are the best indicators of a long and healthy life. High triglyceride indicates increased levels of dangerous LDL Pattern-B particles. Low triglyceride indicates increased levels of the harmless LDL Pattern-A particles.

TG to HDL ratio

TG/HDL ratio calculated by dividing the triglycerides by HDL cholesterol. This ratio help assesses the LDL particle type, whether the LDL particle is small dense or large fluffy.

TG/HDL ratio with a larger number indicates small dense pattern B (harmful). Smaller TG/HDL ratio number indicates large-fluffy pattern A (harmless).

  • Optimal less than 3 mg/dL (<1.33 mmol/dl)
  • Borderline risk 3.1 to 3.8 mg/dL (1.34 to 1.68 mmol/dl)
  • High risk more than 3.8 mg/dL (>1.68 mmol/dl)

“Fasting triglycerides, HDL, and risk of myocardial infarction” published in Circulation, 1997; 96: 520-2525. The study shows the TG/HDL ratio is a strong predictor of myocardial infarction.

High triglyceride has an atherogenic risk. Because of the triglyceride-rich VLDL generates small-dense LDL during lipid exchange and lipolysis. These LDL particles in the blood circulation are from small HDL particles.

“High Ratio of Triglycerides to HDL-Cholesterol Predicts Extensive Coronary Disease” published in Clinics. Aug 2008; 63(4): 427–432. Various studies already showed TG/HDL-C is a predictor of coronary heart disease. This study additionally relates to the severity of vessel compromise.

"Accuracy of the triglyceride/HDL-C ratio for prediction of the LDL phenotype B." This article published in American Journal of Cardiology, 2004 July 15;94(2):219-22. The healthy fasting triglyceride should be less than 150 mg/dl. And the optimal HDL cholesterol is more than 40 mg/dl; then the TG/HDL-C ratio will be 3.8. TG/HDL ratio over 3.8 increases the probability for small dense LDL. TG/HDL-C ratio below 3.8 increases the probability for large fluffy LDL.