Monday’s post ended with a promise to discuss the “fascinating” subject of triglycerides. Maybe you thought I was joking or had lost perspective through too many nights obsessing about this stuff. Obsessive nature or not, I’ll stick with the description. Why are triglycerides so fascinating? There are few, if any, other lab tests which simultaneously reveal so much underlying physiology, expose lifestyle choices so accurately, predict such serious disease yet are consistently correctable by following some straightforward advice. If you’ve ever seen a centrifuged test tube of blood from someone with high triglycerides, you will not likely forget, especially if it’s your own. What you will see is layer of fat which fills half or more of the tube. It leaves a disturbing impression to learn that your blood is half fat and often motivates a desire for change. Many at that point, thinking their arteries are about to clog up as they sit, renew a vow to forgo red meat or any fatty food. They may even consider going vegan. On both accounts their intuition would be wrong although understandable as triglycerides are a storage form of fat. While high triglycerides (>500) may inflame the pancreas, they do not directly harm the arteries (that we know of) and a low fat diet would be a very bad mistake for most anyone in that situation. So what are high triglycerides telling us and why all the fuss? More on Friday.