What Vitamins And Supplements Help Lower Triglyceride Levels
Fish oil lowers triglycerides. The dose needed to reduce triglycerides is 1 to 4 grams of EPA/DHA per day. Four grams per day has been shown to reduce triglycerides by 25% to 30%. People with the highest triglycerides benefit most. It is worth noting that non-marine omega 3 fatty acids do not appear to lower triglycerides in the same way. The prescription form of synthetic omega-3 fatty acids, Lovasa, Vascepa, or Epanova is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for people with triglycerides over 500 mg/dL.
Niacin is another supplement for lowering triglycerides. Both regular and extended-release nicotinic acid has been shown to reduce triglycerides by up to 40% . Niacin has the added benefit of increasing HDL and lowering LDL. The high doses of niacin needed to lower triglycerides can cause uncomfortable flushing in some people. To avoid this, niacin can be taken with baby aspirin, with food, or with an extended-release form of niacin/nicotinic acid . Inositol-hexanicotinate, marketed as no-flush niacin, is NOT the same thing and contains very little nicotinic acid.
Fibers, such as chia, flax, psyllium, or bran, help lower triglycerides. Fibrates, a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs that have been used for decades, also have a triglyceride-lowering effect through the same general mechanisms.
There are other supplements with limited research supporting their benefit in hypertriglyceridemia.
Do High Triglyceride Levels Affect Hdl And Cholesterol Levels
Triglycerides are involved in the transport of fatty acids to muscles and tissues for energy.
- HDL particles are involved in the transport of excess fatty acids from the periphery back to the liver for elimination. Because of these competing roles, it is very difficult to increase HDL, the healthy good cholesterol, without first addressing triglycerides.
- HDL not only transports excess lipid to the liver for disposal, but it also transports cholesterol to organs such as the adrenals, ovaries, and testes for steroid hormone synthesis.
- Many of the strategies discussed here that lower triglycerides are also known to raise HDL.
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Pancreatitis Is A Unique Risk Of High Triglyceride Levels
You may not have heard of it before, but pancreatitis is the name for extreme inflammation of the pancreas, which is one of your vital organs. Pancreatitis is a serious disease with a high rate of hospitalization and sometimes even life-threatening complications.
When the pancreas becomes inflamed, the symptoms typically include nausea, vomiting, and severe upper abdominal pain. The two main causes are gallstones and heavy alcohol use though, many times, the exact cause cannot be identified. High triglyceride levels can be a trigger in up to 7% of acute episodes of pancreatitis. Other causes include:
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Establish A Regular Meal Pattern
Insulin resistance is another factor that can contribute to high blood triglycerides.
After you eat a meal, the cells in your pancreas send a signal to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is then responsible for transporting sugar to your cells to be used for energy.
If you have too much insulin in your blood, your body can become resistant to it, making it difficult for your body to use insulin effectively. This can lead to a buildup of both sugar and triglycerides in the blood.
Fortunately, setting a regular eating pattern can help prevent insulin resistance and high triglycerides. For instance, research shows that not eating breakfast can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity .
An American Heart Association statement suggested that irregular eating patterns seemed less likely to achieve healthy cardiometabolic levels. They recommended intentional eating at regular times .
However, the evidence is mixed when it comes to meal frequency.
A 2013 study demonstrated that eating three meals per day significantly decreased triglycerides compared with eating six meals per day (
Regardless of how many meals youre eating daily, eating regular meals can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood triglyceride levels.
While studies are mixed on how meal frequency affects blood triglyceride levels, research suggests that sticking to a regular meal pattern can decrease many heart disease risk factors and prevent insulin resistance.
Stop Smoking To Lower Cholesterol
The ADA recommends if you smoke to quit to improve diabetes management. Quitting smoking can also improve your overall health and reduce your risk of cancer.
There are numerous programs, support systems, and medications available to help you quit smoking. Studies show it might take a few tries to quit your smoking habit for good. Not smoking when you have diabetes can help you reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease and other diabetes complications.
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Busy Lifestyles Are The Most Common Reasons For High Cholesterol And Triglyceride Levels
If you are like me and like to pack your day full of activities or if you are simply trying to balance a work and home life, watching your diet is often the last thing on your mind.
Therefore, making a healthy meal for yourself and even the family is often impossible. Processed and other fast foods are often high in the fats associated with increasing cholesterol and triglycerides.
To try and tackle this problem, I have started doing a simple menu plan. That is deciding for the week what foods will best suit my cholesterol and triglyceride lowering diet and ensuring I have the ingredients ready to go.
The idea of creating a menu plan is, the days you know you are going to be pressed for time you and organise a simple meal that is still healthy. The meals that require more preparation or cooking time, I save for the days I know I can commit the time.
- Day one Poached salmon, new potatoes and carrots
- Day two Pasta with tomato and basil sauce
- Day three Vegetable curry with rice
- Day four Chicken salad
- Day five Mackerel, rice and poached eggs
The weekend I would leave to chance, although I do treat myself to a small Chinese takeaway and a half-a-glass of red wine on a Saturday evening.
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More About The Fatty Fish
The AHA recommends upping the two servings of fish to three if you have high triglycerides. But theres a glitch with relying on fish alone to lower triglycerides: Eating loads of it increases the risk of exposing yourself to possible environmental contaminants such as mercury and PCBs.
To minimize this exposure, pass on the large fish such as shark, fresh tuna, and tilefish. Opt instead for fish lower in the food chain, which tend to be less toxin-laden: Wild salmon, sardines, bluefish, Atlantic mackerel, and herring.
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Based On The Above Points A Good Fish Oil/algal Oil Should Meet The Following Conditions:
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Eat Less To Lose Weight
High triglycerides come from regularly eating more calories than your body burns, so eating less overall is one of the best ways to start reining them in.
How much less, exactly? You may want to cut back by 500 to 1,000 calories a day, depending on how many calories youre consuming. Thats enough to help you lose weight, which is key.
Dropping 5 to 10 percent of your body weight is enough to reduce your triglycerides significantly. But definitely get the OK from your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.
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How To Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol Naturally
Your genes, diet, and lifestyle all affect your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Some people naturally produce more triglycerides and cholesterol than others. This is based on their genetics and family history. Still, these levels are just part of your overall lipid levels, and lifestyle changes are one of the best ways to keep your numbers within a healthy range.
Eat More Protein & Unsaturated Fats
Compared to a diet high in carbs, diets rich in protein and unsaturated fat reduced triglycerides by about 10 mg/dL in a study of 164 people with high blood pressure .
Diets high in monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil and avocados, decreased triglyceride levels better than a high-carb diet over 7-weeks in 85 people with an increased risk of heart disease. An olive-oil-rich diet also decreased the buildup of triglycerides in the liver .
A diet high in monounsaturated fats and omega-3s decreased triglyceride levels in 17 men with moderately increased triglycerides .
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How Do Foods Affect Triglyceride Levels
Eating foods high in simple sugars significantly contributes to high triglyceride levels. Follow these guidelines to limit simple sugars in your diet:
- Substitute beverages like colas, fruit drinks, iced tea, lemonade, Hi-C and Kool-Aid with artificially sweetened beverages labeled sugar-free or diet.
- Limit hard candies, chocolates, candy bars, and gummy bears.
- Avoid adding table sugar and brown sugar to cereal, drinks or foods. Instead, use an artificial or herbal sweetener or nothing at all!
- Choose sugar-free gum or mints instead of the regular versions.
- Try light or low-sugar syrups on pancakes and waffles.
- Spread breads and crackers with no-sugar-added jelly or preserves.
- Snack on whole fruit instead of fruit roll-ups and other fruit-flavored treats.
- When selecting cereals, choose those with no more than 8 grams of sugar per serving.
- Try sugar-free gelatin, popsicles, yogurts, and puddings instead of the regular versions.
- Be aware that desserts labeled fat-free usually contain more sugar than the full-fat varieties and the same number of calories.
- Cut back on or avoid eating sweets and dessert foods, including cookies, cakes, pastries, pies, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, gelato, and flavored ices. All of these foods contain high levels of sugar.
- Read the ingredients list on food labels, and limit foods that list any of the following words in the first few ingredients:
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Eat More Medium Chain Triglycerides
Yes, you read that correctly. To improve health and triglyceride levels, you should consume more triglycerides. But make sure they are the medium-chain kind of triglyceride.
MCTs are different from the long chain triglycerides that we commonly find in dairy and meat because they skip the normal process of fat digestion and go straight to the liver. In the liver, the MCTs are often converted into ketones for fuel.
For this reason, many studies have found MCTs to increase weight loss when compared to other healthy fats like olive oil. Believe it or not, MCTs also have been found to decrease triglycerides more than olive oil as well.
Coconut oil is the best natural source of MCTs . However, if you need an unmistakable energy boost that eliminates your cravings right away, then supplement with pure MCT oil. Blend it into your morning coffee or keto pumpkin spice latte or use it as the oil for your salad dressings.
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How To Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of lipid, or fat, your body produces to store extra calories and provide energy. Cholesterol is another lipid that circulates in your blood. Your body uses cholesterol to build cells and produce hormones.
Both triglycerides and cholesterol are essential for your health but having levels that are too high puts your health at risk. Living a healthy lifestyle helps to keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels within a normal range.
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Look At Your Prescription Meds
A bunch of different drugs can potentially raise triglyceride levels, including oral estrogen, corticosteroids, and antipsychotic drugs.
If your numbers recently measured high, be sure to review any prescription drugs you might be taking with your doctor. If one of your meds is the culprit, you can talk figure out a plan for protecting your heart health.
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Weight Loss And Triglyceride Levels
Weight loss is an important tool to get to a healthy triglyceride level. Because triglycerides are essentially fat stores, reducing the total amount of fat in the body will result in a lower triglyceride level in blood tests.
Even modest weight loss of 5% to 10% of total body weight helps to lower your triglyceride level. This means that going from a body weight of 300 lb to between 270 lb and 285 lb makes a big difference and lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, and pancreatitis.
What Other Lifestyle Changes Help Lower Triglycerides
Lifestyle strategies are a way to lower triglycerides naturally.
Weight loss has a positive effect on triglycerides. For every 5% to 10% weight reduction, triglycerides may be lowered by 20%. Another way to look at this: For every kilogram lost, triglycerides may be reduced by 2%.
Increasing physical activity lowers triglycerides.
- Aerobic activity of any kind, especially when done after a meal, uses up triglycerides that are in the blood ready to be used as fuel. This not only lowers triglycerides but also helps with abdominal obesity.
- Exercise is most effective for lowering triglycerides when they are very elevated. If triglycerides are optimal , exercise will not further lower the level.
All together, intensive lifestyle strategies can reduce triglycerides by 50% or more over a year. Lifestyle strategies can enable people to effectively reduce triglycerides without medicine or drugs, plus there are many other positive effects on other aspects of health and well-being. This is the recommended approach of the American Heart Association for anyone with triglycerides greater than optimal .
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Eat The Right Foods For You
As weve seen, there are some broad dietary guidelines you can follow to help lower your triglyceride levels.
But our research shows that everyones blood fat responses to the foods they eat are personal, with more than 10 times the difference between some people.
ZOE runs the largest nutritional study of its kind, with over 15,000 participants so far. Based on our studies, weve developed a personalized nutrition program that takes your unique biology into account to help you improve your metabolic health.
Using the latest scientific techniques, the ZOE at-home test analyzes your triglyceride and blood sugar levels after eating, as well as the microbes in your gut.
Based on your results, the ZOE program then gives you advice on the best foods and food combinations for your body and your long-term health goals.
You can take a free quiz to find out more.
What Are Triglycerides And Why Are They Important
“Triglycerides are a type of blood lipid and they’re made up of free fatty acids. They’re stored in your body fat, but you’ll also find them in your blood,” says nutritionist Jessica Ash, CNC, HHC, FDN-P and founder of Jessica Ash Wellness. “And because your liver makes them, they’re also found in your liver and then your tissues. Our body gets triglycerides either from the food that you eat or from the body it manufactures triglycerides in the liver.”
“It’s important to know that triglycerides, like cholesterol, are normally protective . But triglycerides are used for energy, whereas cholesterol is used for steroid hormone production,” Ash explains. “And our muscles are specifically what like to uptake fatty acids or triglycerides. So they’re fatty acids that the body usually uses for energy.”
Your body needs energy from food to function. But excess energy, especially from sources like simple carbohydrates, can be stored as triglycerides, which can create issues if your triglyceride levels are elevated above the normal range. According to the Mayo Clinic, if your triglycerides are over 150 mg/dL, then you’re at a greater risk for developing heart disease.
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How To Lower Triglycerides Naturally
1. Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Cut Back on Calories
Because of the relationship between increased weight circumference and high triglycerides, cutting back on calories and losing weight can have a big impact on triglyceride levels. Stick to cholesterol-lowering foods, such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, garlic and sweet potatoes.
In a study conducted at the School of Medicine and Pharmacology in Australia, compared with weight maintenance, weight loss significantly decreased body weight, plasma insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. To lose weight fast, begin by avoiding the consumption of empty calories throughout the day. This means cutting back on sweetened beverages, refined carbohydrates and baked goods.
Avoid Sugary Foods
A study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that when fructose was given to rats, there was a 20 percent increase in triglyceride production. The results suggest that dietary fructose not only increases triglyceride production, but also impairs triglyceride removal. Fructose is a natural simple sugar found in fruits, vegetables and honey. Instead of consuming too many of these high-fructose foods, focus on bringing complex carbs and healthy fats into your diet. Also, always avoid high fructose corn syrup, one of the worst ingredients out there.
Stick to Complex Carbohydrates
Choose Healthy Fats
3. Essential Oils
Increase Fibre Quantity In Your Diet
High-fibre foods are also rich in carbohydrates, however, they are more complex to break down and are gradually absorbed by the body. Dietary fibre also helps you feel full without having consumed excess calories. Therefore, it directly lowers your triglyceride levels.
Choose healthy fats
The main source of triglycerides is fats, themselves. Thereby, a reduction in the fat content that you consume can help you achieve good triglyceride levels. However, fat is also an essential component of your body. There are both healthy and unhealthy fats. In order to reduce triglycerides, you should aim to consume more healthy fats and decrease your intake of unhealthy, saturated fats. Healthy fats include omega-3 fatty acids that are found in oily fish, olive oil and other supplements.
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