What role do the triglycerides play?

Regardless of the cholesterol level, elevated triglyceride levels are a risk factor for arteriosclerosis. Not infrequently, both cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels are elevated. One speaks then of combined lipid metabolism disorder or combined hyperlipidemia.

Triglycerides are neutral fats, most of which come from food, but are also made in the body from excess sugar. They are the most important source of energy for the body. Three fatty acids depend on the molecule glycerine, from which the name derives. Triglycerides are stored in adipose tissue and form an energy reserve.

Basic structure of triglycerides

Triglycerides: Only unhealthy in excess

Conclusion: Triglycerides are not bad in and of themselves. On the contrary, they are urgently needed by the body. This is an alarm signal only if they are in excess. Incidentally, this also applies to cholesterol in the same way.

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A few more details: After ingestion, triglycerides are broken down in the intestine and absorbed into the bloodstream. In the blood they are then bound like cholesterol to so-called transport proteins. These transport proteins are called chylomicrons and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL). Chylomicrons transport triglycerides into the liver, VLDL from the liver into the body's cells.

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Author: Dr. med. Julia Hofmann & Dr. med. med. Jörg Zorn