Trying to improve or maintain your heart health requires vigilance about the levels of different types of fat in your body. Triglycerides are just one of these fats. They are present in the blood. Any unused calories from food are immediately converted into triglycerides, which are stored in fat cells. Hormones later release the triglycerides for energy in between meals.
You might have seen your triglyceride level on your last blood test report. If it was under 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), it’s within the healthy range. A triglyceride level above 200 mg/dL, however, is considered too high.
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High triglyceride levels may contribute to atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries or thickening of the arterial walls. Atherosclerosis increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. High levels of triglycerides can also indicate the presence of other conditions that increase these risks as well. Hypertriglyceridemia is a condition in which triglyceride levels are elevated, possibly as a result of diabetes mellitus, obesity, or a sedentary lifestyle.
Triglyceride levels can be decreased by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes avoiding sugary and refined foods, exercising regularly, and eliminating trans fat from your diet. Researchers from the University of Montreal have discovered another way to reduce triglyceride levels.
By blocking the expression of a certain gene in patients, the researchers were able to significantly decrease the concentration of triglycerides in their blood. The gene controls the expression of a protein called apoC-III. The results of the study show that the protein apoC-III plays an important role in the regulation of triglycerides. In December of 2014, the same team of researchers showed that blocking the expression of apoC-III even reduced the triglyceride levels in patients with an extreme form of hypertriglyeridemia.
Dr. Daniel Gaudet, the first author of the study, highlighted the fact that finding the genes that regulate triglycerides is an important step for more targeted treatments for people with dangerously high levels of triglycerides. He also stated that the results of this study will speed up future research into understanding and controlling the risks of severe hypertriglyceridemia.
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