Those with high blood pressure and those who have been deemed as a high risk for heart disease, heart attack or other related issues should know the impact that triglycerides can have on the body. High levels in this area can correlate with high levels in terms of blood pressure, which can either compound the issue or create one in an otherwise healthy individual. Triglycerides are fat cells, also known as lipids, and they occupy the bloodstream. Monitoring the levels and working to maintain them is essential to positive heart health and a reduced level of risk.
How Do Triglycerides Work?
The first thing that anyone should know about triglycerides is that no only do they come from food consumption, just like any other type of fat, but that they are also created by the body as part of the digestion progress. The human body needs calories in order to function, which it uses as energy. The more calories that a person takes in, the more potential energy they have. Calories have often been vilified in modern diet culture, and they certainly can lead to weight gain when people take in more than they need, but they are also very important.
However, the odds that the body will need all ingested calories at the moment of consumption are very low. It has to do something with extra calories in order to store them for later use. The way that the body deals with this is by converting the calories over into triglycerides. It then moves the triglycerides to the fat cells for long-term storage. If they are needed in the future, when the body runs out of more immediate energy sources, hormones are released. These hormones then activate the triglycerides, releasing them from the fat cells, and they can be burned for energy.
How Does Cholesterol Differ?
To many people, triglycerides and cholesterol may sound very similar, but the key difference is in the way that the two are used. While cholesterol is used for the construction of specific hormones and other functions, triglycerides are used primarily to provide energy. This means that they are burned in different fashions, at different times.
The Health Impact
Studies have shown that around 31 percent of all Americans have high blood pressure, or 67 million people. Much of this is due to triglycerides, which can cause hypertension. High blood pressure can also lead to strokes and heart disease, which both rank in the top three when considering the cause of death in the United States.
Testing the Levels
In order to make sure that the levels are not too high for triglycerides in the blood, people may want to consider being tested. When doing this with a blood test, a reading of lower than 150 milligrams per deciliter is considered to be normal. If the reading is from 150 to 199 mg/dL, it is considered slightly high, and a reading of 200 to 499 mg/dL is thought of as high; anything over that is very high.