What are triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat, like cholesterol, that is transported by blood lipoproteins. Their existence depends on exogenous (food) and endogenous (formed by the body) mechanisms. A diet high in saturated fat and carbohydrates may raise triglyceride levels.

Although a somewhat controversial topic, high blood triglyceride levels have been closely linked to increased cardiovascular risk.

This controversy is due in part to difficulties in evaluating the specific role of triglycerides in the atherosclerotic process, given that they are closely linked with the metabolism of other lipoproteins.

However, today it is known that increased triglycerides levels are associated with the production of lower-quality HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) and denser LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) particles, which have higher atherogenic potential (cause more damage to the arterial wall).

What conditions/situations are associated with increased triglycerides?

  • Diets high in carbohydrates (sugars, flour)
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bulimia
  • Endocrine, blood and collagen diseases
  • Medications (beta blockers, oral estrogens, glucocorticoids, isotretinoin)