Low Cholesterol but High Triglyceride ?

My Cholesterol is 3.8 nmol/l
HDL 2.1 nmol/l
LDL 0.8 nmol/l
Cholesterol / HDL ratio 1.81

Perfect readings ?

So why is my Triglyceride up at 1.9 nmol/l ?

Where is it coming from ? Is it likely to undo the beneficial effects of my good cholesterol profile and lead to arteriosclerosis ?

And why doesn’t LDL + HDL add up to Total Cholesterol ?
Philippa states …."It is endogenous (diet plays a small part in it but your body depends highly on fatty acids for energy and stores these in adipose tissue. We all differ in our capacity to mobilise fatty acids for metabolism)."

So if if its not due to diet what might be the causes ? Could fasting, or dieting elevate the breakdown and release of adipose fats into the bloodstream, rather like in ketosis ?

One comment

  • Philippa

    Triglycerides are chemically distinct from the sterols (i.e. derivatives of cholesterol such as sex hormones, glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids). They are formed by a glycerol molecule bound by fatty acid chains (drawn schematically, they look more like tadpoles compared to the ring-like structure of sterols).

    Hence, triglycerides may be elevated primarily without any abnormality of cholesterol. The treatment is with drugs known as fibrates (such as clofibrate), to reduce synthesis of triglycerides. This is a different family of drugs to those used to treat cholesterol (the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, such as simvastatin).

    It is endogenous (diet plays a small part in it but your body depends highly on fatty acids for energy and stores these in adipose tissue. We all differ in our capacity to mobilise fatty acids for metabolism).

    Hypertriglyceridaemia needs treating because it does increase risks of arterial disease except it is athersclerosis NOT arteriosclerosis which these lipids increase the risk of (including cholesterol in the definition of lipid).

    Hypertriglyceridaemia can also cause pancreatitis, eruptive xanthomata and xanthelasma, pseudohyponatraemia and other health problems but it is treatable (see above).

    LDL + HDL do not add up to Total Cholesterol as they are not the only forms of cholesterol transport in the blood. The terms HDL and LDL stand for High Density and Low Density Lipoproteins respectively. These are protein and lipid complexes which emulsify cholesterol (itself lipophilic and hence insoluble in water) and transport it around the body in blood. The LDL represents likely excess cholesterol and is crudely understood as delivery vectors of cholesterol TO body tissues from liver, hence it is labelled the bad cholesterol. HDL on the other hand seems to transport cholesterol back to the liver from peripheral tissue for either recycling or excretion (in bile, the human body cannot itself destroy the sterol ring although it can convert fatty acids into sterols if need be).

    The missing story: chylomicrons and some other lipoproteins also exist, they help transport lipids in the diet from gut to lymphatics and hence through the circulation and eventually to the liver for processing and distribution elsewhere via LDL.

    Hope this helps.

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