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Triglycerides (TGs) are a group of fatty compounds that circulate in the bloodstream and are stored in the fat tissue. Individuals who have elevated blood levels of TGs (known as hypertriglyceridemia) appear to be at increased risk of developing heart disease.
People with diabetes often have elevated TG levels. Successfully controlling diabetes will, in some cases, lead to normalization of TG levels.
Very high triglycerides can cause pancreatitis, an enlarged liver and spleen, and fatty deposits in the skin called xanthomas. Otherwise, high triglycerides may not cause symptoms until and unless heart disease or other diseases of blood vessels develop.
Smoking has been linked to elevated TG levels.2 As always, it makes sense for smokers to quit.
Obesity increases TG levels.3 Maintaining ideal body weight helps protect against elevated TG levels. Many doctors encourage people who have elevated TGs and who are overweight to lose the extra weight.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.