Triglycerides: know more about its functions

What are triglyceride?

Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. While you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides, stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. In case you regularly consume more calories than you burn, specifically “easy” calories like carbohydrates and fat, you could have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia).

Triglycerides, also found in foods such as meats, dairy products, and cooking oils. The fat, the human body stores in tissues, is comprised of triglycerides. Eaten in foods, absorbed in the intestines and transported in the bloodstream to tissues where they’re stored as fat or used to provide energy. Triglycerides, also made in the liver. As an instance, when more calories consumes it than your body requires, the liver forms triglycerides and store it as a form of fat.


Structure and levels of Triglycerides?

Triglycerides are the most common type of fats in the body.Their structure and properties are related to their functions; in other words, structured in such a manner so as to help them perform their valuable functions in living organisms.

Triglycerides are also called triacylglycerol (TAG), and their chemical structure consists of a long chain of one molecule of alcohol glycerol attached to three building blocks consisting of three molecules of fatty acids through ester bonds. Glycerol forms the backbone of the triglyceride molecule and the three fatty acids form the “tri” of triglycerides.

The structure of each of the three fatty acids within a single triglyceride molecule often differs, but they are all long chains of carbon atoms with bonded hydrogen. It is the number of hydrogen atoms in each fatty acid that determines the physical properties of the triglyceride. Triglycerides – an important source of metabolic water due to the fact that triglyceride molecules yield water on getting oxidize. This is particularly helpful in desert animals such as the camel. Even migratory birds rely on metabolic water while flying nonstop over long distances.

Levels of Triglyceride

Triglyceride levels, usually measured at the same time as those for blood cholesterol. To get an accurate reading the test for triglycerides, perform the test when the body is in a fasting state – excluding water, no food or drink for at least 12 hours beforehand. This is because triglyceride levels, influenced by a host of factors including recent food intake, exercise, and medication or hormone levels. It is therefore advisable to obtain two fasting samples which should be taken at different times if diagnosis of hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels) is suspected. Levels exceeding 2.0 mmol/l, associated with increased risk of CHD.

The good information is that there’s a lot that you can do on your own to lower triglycerides and improve health. First, find out if your triglycerides are high. Then, find out what to do about it.

Here are the levels, based on a fasting blood test:-

  • Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
  • Borderline: 150 to 199 mg/dL
  • High: 200 to 499 mg/dL
  • Very High: 500 mg/dL or above


Although finding out that you have high triglycerides might be upsetting, there’s a lot you can do on your own to lower them. Making changes to your lifestyle can have a dramatic benefit.

What are Triglycerides functions?

As soon as the triglycerides are in the bloodstream, the adipose tissue stores it inside to use it for energy production when the body requires it. Secondly, cells utilize them. They move on the surface of the tissue cells throughout the body.

But, triglycerides cannot pass thru the cell membrane (outer covering of the cell) freely. To facilitate this entry, special enzymes called lipase lipoproteins,  released from the wall of the blood vessels, which break down triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids. Fatty acids, then taken up by the cells through the fatty acid transporter (fat, in short). Saturated fatty acid tails, all single bond carbons, which mean that for every carbon, two hydrogen and two carbons attached available.

These are the fatty acids that are solid at room temperature and increase your cholesterol and risk of heart problems. Unsaturated fatty acids tails have at least one double bond. Cells with one double bond, monounsaturated and with more, called polyunsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature and promote the health of your heart.


Triglycerides are chemical compounds, which are present in the body and certain foods. In the body, they are present in the blood plasma in the form of VLDL (Very low-density lipoproteins) to be transported for storage in the fat cells or to be utilized by the cells throughout the body.

If your triglycerides are high, you and your doctor can decide on a treatment plan and you can make a few simple but effective changes to your lifestyle.Your doctor will usually check for high triglycerides as part of a cholesterol test (sometimes called a lipid panel or lipid profile). Fast for nine to 12 hours mandetory, before blood drawn process for an accurate triglyceride measurement. Doctor prescribes medication to lower your triglycerides, take the medication as prescribed and remember the significance of the healthy lifestyle changes you’ve made.

Medications can help but lifestyle matters, too. As with all lipid disorders, diet and lifestyle measures are the cornerstones of treatment. Triglycerides tend to be very responsive to changes in diet and health behaviours. When you talk to your doctor, discuss all of the medicines, supplements, and vitamins you take. Some common drugs like beta-blockers, birth control pills, and diuretics can cause high triglycerides as a side effect. It’s possible that one of them could be causing your problem.Overall, it’s important to remember that improving diet and lifestyle will lower triglycerides and lower the overall risk of heart and blood vessel problems.

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