I’m continuing the discussion of what is going on below the surface when we find high triglycerides in the blood. The first dysfunction, covered last time, is elevated insulin levels.
The second dysfunction is elevated blood sugar levels. Chronically elevated blood sugar is toxic in many ways. Sugar is sticky and attaches itself to other molecules. The most significant is when it attaches to proteins to create advanced glycated end products (AGES). These sticky proteins gum up small vessels in the eyes, kidneys, feet and brain among other organs. This predictably causes blindness, kidney failure, brain dysfunction and poorly healing sores which can lead to amputation. Glycation can also happen to cholesterol transport lipoproteins which I have already mentioned. High levels of sugar also increase the chance for certain cancers and depress the immune system among many other toxicities. Neurosurgeon Larry McCleary points out that when working properly, our bodies exercise the “goldilocks principle”. “Not too little, not too much rather just right”. The medical term is homeostasis. When sugar violates the Goldilocks principle, we have serious problems.
You may think I’m exaggerating, but in reality, I’m barely scratching the surface. The third dysfunction predicted by elevated triglyceride levels is an often dangerous build up of fat in the liver. We’ll cover that in the next post.