We Simply Cannot Ignore
High Triglyceride Risk Factors

High triglyceride risk factors may not be high on your list of concerns. They may not be high on your doctor’s list either. Why?

It is commonly accepted that high triglycerides put one at higher risk for heart disease. Then why do some doctors seem to ignore high triglycerides?

Because there is disagreement concerning whether high triglycerides alone cause heart disease. The main reason for this dilemma is high triglyceride risk factors commonly occur with other risk factors such as…

  • high LDL cholesterol
  • low LDL cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
There is, however, enough evidence that high triglyceride risk factors alone are reason for concern. According to Reuters Health researchers have shown that people with elevated triglycerides are at an increased risk of having a heart attack. This is true even when cholesterol levels are normal. This would indicate what other research is showing. High triglycerides are more than a marker of heart disease. High triglycerides are an independent risk factor.

Evidence is mounting that high triglycerides put you and me at higher risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). Why is this so?

The explanation goes something like this…

  • When triglyceride rich lipoproteins break down they leave a remnant in the blood.
  • These particles floating around in the bloodstream are particularly dangerous to people with high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.
  • This remnant appears to speed up the process of depositing plaque on the arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • This particulate matter increases the risk of clotting (thrombosis) which can lead to heart attack.
How does this process work?

After we eat a fatty meal our bodies react. They go into transport mode. The substances that need to be transported do not dissolve in water very well. These include fats, waxes, and terpenes.

Our bodies leave lipoproteins in the blood to transport these substances. However, if we have high triglycerides this transport system does not work as efficiently. Fragments in the blood are not cleared away as quickly as when our triglyceride levels are normal. This transportation delay has been shown to increase CHD risk.

High triglyceride risk factors have a greater affect with people who have Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is not a disease. Rather it describes a constellation of factors that increase one’s risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

If you have metabolic syndrome you will most likely suffer from abdominal obesity, glucose intolerance, high insulin levels, sometimes type-2 diabetes. Each of these factors increases our risk for heart disease. The combination of these factors increases the likelihood of coronary heart disease even higher.

In particular high triglycerides and high cholesterol seem to increase the build up of plaque on the artery walls. This is called atherosclerosis.

Research is progressing on the relationship between triglycerides and coronary heart disease. The point to remember is that high triglycerides now appear to be more than an indicator of cardiovascular problems. They may also represent an independent risk factor particularly in relation to atherosclerosis. This alone makes high triglyceride risk factors something to consider seriously.

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