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High triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease. In this article, we’ll talk about how to reduce your levels naturally by adding more fiber and lowering your sodium intake.
Coronary heart disease, which affects more than 13 million Americans, is the top cause of mortality and disability in the United States, mainly to the expanding epidemics of childhood and adult obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes type 2. In addition, high triglycerides, a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease, are estimated to affect 31% of the US population.
According to a 2007 meta-analysis comprising 3,582 incident instances of fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease, there is a substantial link between triglyceride levels and the risk of coronary heart disease.
Fortunately, dietary and lifestyle adjustments may help decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels naturally.
What Are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a form of lipid (fat) found in the bloodstream. Any calories you don’t use throughout your meal are converted to triglycerides, which are then stored in your fat cells. In between meals, your hormones produce triglycerides for energy. This cycle becomes troublesome when you consume more calories than you expend, resulting in elevated triglycerides, also known as hypertriglyceridemia.
Triglyceride levels are labeled in the following fashion by the National Cholesterol Education Program:
- Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is considered normal.
- 150–199 milligrams per deciliter is considered borderline high.
- A high concentration of 200–499 milligrams per deciliter
- Exceptionally high — 500 micrograms per deciliter or more
Triglycerides and cholesterol are two forms of lipids found in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is utilized to construct cells and manufacture specific hormones, while triglycerides store calories that aren’t used and supply energy to the body. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) aids fat removal by attaching to it in the circulation and transporting it to the liver for elimination. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a protein that transports lipids primarily from the liver to other body regions.
Although high LDL cholesterol is a well-established risk factor for coronary heart disease, research shows that high triglyceride levels are also a risk factor. Until recently, scientists thought that high triglyceride levels were not as important as cholesterol in predicting plaque accumulation and heart disease, but that viewpoint has shifted. Along with levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, most doctors now consider triglycerides to be a third key risk factor for plaque development in the arteries.
Even after LDL cholesterol levels were lowered dramatically with the use of statin drugs, many patients still maintained high triglyceride levels, placing them at risk for cardiovascular disease. This shows that, in addition to LDL cholesterol, excessive triglycerides play a substantial role in the accumulation of plaque within the arteries, a condition is known as atherosclerosis.
What Causes High Triglyceride?
The following conditions may induce high triglycerides:
- more calories are consumed than are burned/used for energy.
- sedentary lifestyle/lack of exercise
- type 2 diabetes
- hypothyroidism is a condition that affects the thyroid gland (underactive thyroid)
- renal failure
- consuming too much alcohol
- adverse effects of the medicine
Data on the correlations of triglyceride, HDL, and LDL cholesterol with coronary heart disease risk factors was evaluated in a study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. Researchers discovered that smoking, diabetes, sedentariness, hypertension, and obesity were considerably more common among men and women with low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride levels than among those at moderate risk with high HDL cholesterol and low triglyceride levels.
Because insulin is involved in controlling lipid homeostasis, hypertriglyceridemia is common in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, the organs that are sensitive to insulin control, such as adipose tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle, cannot operate correctly when the body is resistant to insulin.
Triglyceride levels have been shown to predict cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of morbidity and death in Western culture. Even if their LDL cholesterol levels are within normal limits, those with high triglycerides may be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
After LDL cholesterol levels were lowered, a 2010 Harvard Medical School research looked at the relative contributions of triglyceride and HDL cholesterol in the risk of coronary heart disease. According to the research, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol levels were linked to coronary heart disease even in individuals with lower LDL cholesterol levels, which included 170 cases and 175 controls. Increases in triglycerides of 23 milligrams per deciliter raised the risk of coronary heart disease by around 20%.
You’re more prone to acquire type 2 diabetes if your triglycerides are high. High triglycerides don’t cause diabetes, but they do indicate that the body isn’t adequately converting food into energy. Normally, the body produces insulin, which transports glucose into cells and converts it to energy. Insulin helps the body utilize triglycerides for energy. Still, when someone is insulin-resistant, the cells refuse to let insulin or glucose in, leading blood glucose and triglyceride levels to rise.
According to a 2011 research published in the Oman Medical Journal, there is a clear link between elevated serum triglycerides and high blood glucose levels. However, high cholesterol does not have the same impact. Therefore, 438 men and females, both non-diabetic and non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes patients, were sampled. Serum glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were all tested simultaneously in the individuals. The findings revealed that an increase in triglycerides, but not cholesterol, had the same impact on rising blood glucose levels as an increase in both triglycerides and cholesterol.
Hypertriglyceridemia is also becoming more prevalent in the present obesity pandemic. According to research, triglyceride levels are more directly related to waist size, and weight reduction reduces hypertriglyceridemia considerably. Despite receiving fewer lipid-lowering medications, those who underwent intensive lifestyle intervention lost 8.6% of their initial weight (compared to 0.7 percent in the control group) and lowered their triglyceride levels by more than twice as much as the control group in a trial study involving randomized individuals with diabetes. The research shows that losing weight may result in significant metabolic benefits and that there is a link between weight reduction and lower triglycerides.
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, excessive levels of cholesterol and triglycerides may bind vitamin E in the circulation, preventing it from reaching the tissues that need it. This may be particularly harmful because vitamin E is so vital in areas like the brain, liver, eyes, skin, and artery walls.
Treatment Using Conventional Methods
Statins and fibrates are the two most frequent traditional therapies for elevated triglycerides, each of which have their own set of adverse effects.
People with low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol use these prescription medicines, such as Lipitor or Zocor. According to research published in the American Journal of Cardiology, Statins are useful in treating excessive triglycerides, but only in individuals with hypertriglyceridemia. According to research, the more successful statins are in lowering LDL cholesterol, the more beneficial they will be at lowering triglycerides.
Muscle soreness is one of the most prevalent statin side effects, but patients might also have liver damage, elevated blood sugar levels, and neurological difficulties, including memory loss and disorientation.
Fibrates are a kind of lipid that is used to reduce triglyceride levels. Fibrates have been proven in studies to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events in individuals with cardiovascular disease who had moderately increased triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol levels. Nausea, stomach trouble, and diarrhea are some of the negative effects of fibrates. In addition, when taken for a long time, fibrates might irritate the liver and develop gallstones. Combination treatment with fibrates and statins is sometimes utilized, although this raises safety issues and should be used with care.
Natural Ways to Lower Triglycerides
1. Dietary and lifestyle modifications
Due to the link between increased weight circumference and high triglycerides, calorie restriction and weight loss may significantly influence triglyceride levels. Vegetables, nuts, seeds, garlic, and sweet potatoes are all good cholesterol-lowering foods.
Weight reduction, compared to weight maintenance, substantially reduced body weight, plasma insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels in research done at the School of Medicine and Pharmacology in Australia. To reduce weight quickly, start by eliminating empty calorie intake throughout the day. This includes avoiding sugary drinks, processed carbs, and baked foods.
Sugary foods should be avoided.
According to research published in the American Journal of Physiology, when rats were fed fructose, their triglyceride synthesis increased by 20%. According to the findings, dietary fructose promotes triglyceride formation while simultaneously impairing triglyceride clearance. Fructose is a simple sugar that occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, and honey. Instead of eating too many of these high-fructose meals, increase your intake of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Avoid high fructose corn syrup at all costs since it is one of the worst components available.
Concentrate on Complex Carbohydrates
Research done at the Rogosin Institute in New York in 2000 discovered that a very low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet rich in simple sugars enhanced the proportion of newly produced fatty acids and plasma triglyceride levels. Complex carbs with a high soluble fiber content keep you fuller for longer, allowing you to lose weight and naturally reduce your triglycerides. Stick to high-fiber meals like sprouted seeds and nuts, quinoa, and other sprouted seeds and nuts.
Choose Fats That Are Good For You
Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods lower blood triglyceride levels via reducing free fatty acid transport to the liver and lowering triglyceride-synthesizing enzyme activity. Wild salmon and mackerel, chia seeds, flaxseeds, grass-fed beef and bison, and free-range eggs are all good sources of omega-3. In addition, the keto diet, which is rich in good fats, has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease indicators such as elevated cholesterol and triglycerides.
Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
According to studies published in Current Opinion in Lipidology, excessive alcohol use is linked to high plasma triglycerides, cardiovascular illness, alcoholic fatty liver disease, and the development of pancreatitis. Although light to moderate alcohol use has been linked to lower plasma triglycerides, individuals with high triglyceride levels benefit from limiting or eliminating alcohol consumption.
Research published in Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports looked at 11 healthy women who did a single exercise consisting of a two-hour brisk walk at 60% of peak oxygen consumption. When comparing the exercise trial to the control trial with no activity, the findings indicated that triglyceride concentration was around 30% lower after the exercise experiment. These health advantages may be obtained by walking, running, weight training, yoga, or any other sort of activity for at least one hour.
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, according to experts at the Cardiovascular Health Research Center in South Dakota, help lower plasma triglyceride levels. After one month of therapy, omega-3s lower triglycerides by around 25% to 50% at the pharmaceutical dosage of 3.4 grams per day, owing to a decrease in very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) synthesis and, secondly, an increase in VLDL clearance. Fish oil efficiently reduces plasma triglycerides while suppressing adipose tissue inflammation and controlling metabolic pathways in a tissue-specific manner.
According to studies, niacin (vitamin B3) decreases triglyceride levels by 30 to 50 percent, boosts HDL cholesterol levels by 20 to 30 percent, and lowers LDL cholesterol by 5 to 25%. Niacin treatment is unusual in that it improves all lipoprotein abnormalities, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. It lowers LDL cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and lipoprotein levels while raising HDL cholesterol levels.
Researchers discovered that changes in blood cholesterol levels caused by niacin result in considerable improvements in coronary artery disease and clinical outcomes. Although niacin usage has been linked to a reduction in cardiovascular events, low-dose niacin paired with a statin has been linked to a reduction in cardiovascular events.
According to researchers, lipoic acid supplementation enhanced the rate of triglyceride elimination in circulation after eating. The triglyceride levels of diabetic rats given a diet containing lipoic acid for five weeks were examined in a 2009 research published in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Researchers discovered increased glycogen content in the livers of lipoic acid-treated rats, suggesting that dietary carbohydrates were stored as glycogen (glucose for animals) rather than fatty acids, decreasing triglyceride levels.
Garlic has various health advantages, including the capacity to prevent heart disease. Compared to placebo, dried garlic powder formulations dramatically reduced blood triglyceride levels, according to a meta-analysis done at the University of Oxford. There were 952 participants in this study, which encompassed 17 trials. Garlic therapy decreased not just triglyceride levels but also total cholesterol levels.
According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, the triglyceride levels were reduced by 38% in rats given raw garlic orally or as an injection.
3. The Use of Essential Oils
In a 2014 research, lavender oil was shown to have antioxidant and hypolipidemic properties in rats, suggesting that it might be used as a treatment for hyperlipidemic patients. Lavender oil is also recognized to help decrease cardiovascular risks by reducing stress levels. Diffusing lavender oil at home or using it topically to the chest and wrists will provide you with these advantages.
Holy basil extract’s antioxidant and lipid-lowering properties protect the heart against hypercholesterolemia. This is because the oil contains eugenol. Holy basil may also help lower blood sugar levels, linked to high triglyceride levels. Add one to two drops of holy basil extract to warm water or tea to use. Supplements containing holy basil are also available.
According to research published in Food and Chemistry Toxicology, Lemongrass essential oil successfully cuts blood cholesterol levels when given orally to rats for 21 days. Even though no human studies on lemongrass and triglycerides have been conducted, this animal research shows that lemongrass may be used as a natural and safe alternative treatment when combined with dietary and lifestyle adjustments.
- Triglyceride levels have been shown to predict cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of morbidity and death in Western culture.
- In your blood, triglycerides are a form of fat. Any calories you don’t use throughout your meal are converted to triglycerides, which are then stored in your fat cells. In between meals, your hormones produce triglycerides for energy. Triglycerides rise when you consume more calories than you expend.
- Obesity, lack of exercise, consuming more calories than you burn, type 2 diabetes, renal illness, excessive alcohol use, and smoking are all key causes of elevated triglycerides.
- Changing your food and lifestyle is the most effective method to prevent or control excessive triglyceride levels. The best approaches to naturally lower triglyceride levels are cutting calories, sticking to complex carbohydrates instead of refined carbs, consuming healthy fats containing omega-3 fatty acids, and minimizing sugar consumption. Exercise is also beneficial in lowering triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels.
- Combine supplements such as fish oil, garlic, niacin, and lipoic acid to lower elevated triglycerides with dietary and lifestyle adjustments. Essential oils like lavender, holy basil, and lemongrass may also aid with hypertriglyceridemia treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes triglycerides to be high?
A: Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood that can be produced in both healthy and unhealthy ways. Typically, triglycerides go up when one is eating too many high-fat foods or exercising too much, and those who have diabetes can also experience this increase in their triglycerides.
What happens if your triglycerides are high?
A: High triglycerides are a risk factor for developing pancreatitis and gallstones. It also increases your chances of getting kidney stones or breaking down into fatty liver disease, which are all serious problems that can cause long-term damage to the body.
How can I lower my triglycerides quickly?
A: There are many natural ways to lower your triglycerides, such as eating healthy and exercising. However, if you need a quick fix that can help reduce the number of fat molecules in your blood, you should try taking fish oil supplements. Fish oil helps remove excess cholesterol from the liver while also lowering triglyceride levels by preventing them from being made.
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