What’s the difference between triglycerides and cholesterol, and why does it matter if my triglyceride count is high?
Triglycerides and cholesterol are different types of lipids (fats) that circulate in your blood. Your body uses cholesterol to build the structure of cell membranes and make hormones such as oestrogen, testosterone and adrenal hormones.
It also plays a role in regulating metabolism and is essential for the production of vitamin D.
Triglycerides, on the other hand, aren’t as helpful. Their job is predominantly to store unused calories.
High triglycerides may contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls (arteriosclerosis). This increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
The reason you should take a high triglyceride count seriously is that high triglycerides are often a sign of other conditions, too, like type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism and metabolic syndrome (when high blood pressure, obesity and high blood sugar occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease).
If you do have a high triglyceride count, you should follow up with your medical practitioner.
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