Triglycerides are free fatty acids that float in the blood. Look at your most recent blood work and you’ll find triglycerides in the lipid panel section along with cholesterol. Generally, triglycerides go up when a person consumes too many carbohydrates and is usually part of the diabetic blood picture. The body will use triglycerides as fuel when it has a difficult time utilizing glucose. Levels between 75-100 mg/dl are ideal. What does it mean when level go below 75?
One of two possibilities are occurring in that situation:
- You are eating very little fat (almost none) or
- You are experiencing malabsorption
Malaborption occurs when the small intestines cannot pull “broken down” food particles across the intestinal wall. There are many reasons this can happen including:
- Infection in the GI system (H. Pylori is a common infection causing low acid production and poor mineral absorption)
- Food sensitivity (especially gluten, dairy, and soy causing inflammation and damage of the lining of the small intestine) BIG, OFTEN UNKNOWN CULPRIT!
- Gall Bladder issues (the gall bladder is the storage pouch for bile. Bile helps with the absorption of fats)
- Diseases like Crohn’s, IBD, etc.
Here’s the Problem
Your doctor will probably praise you for having low triglycerides instead of considering the negative health implications. We have an antiFAT (cholesterol/trigylcerides) mentality in health care. There has been a war against high cholesterol for years. So much so that we forget about the ideal ranges continuing to push those levels ever lower.
What Should You Do?
I write more about what is healthy regarding a lipid panel in the future but if your triglyceride levels are lower than 75 consider this a bad sign. Understanding the interplay between diet and our metabolism is complicated and requires specific testing to determine the best direction. After taking a history and reviewing general lab work the most important testing to run is Intestinal Permeability and Specific Food Sensitivity Tests. These tests provide a very good understanding of intestinal integrity. Additionally, running tests to look for parasites and other infections can be helpful. If you like to discuss this issue further please contact my office 630-357-2299.