Severalphoto readers have informed me that the picture of a test-tube of blood laden with a large layer of fat will stick with them forever.  One friend commented, “I can’t remember what you wrote but I’ll never forget that blood which was half fat!” Any means that will convince you of the serious nature of high triglycerides is fine. (Ok I’ll admit that I would prefer for the pictures to enhance the post rather than replace it)

In the last two posts of this series, I’ll try to explain the relationship of triglycerides to cholesterol transport and why high triglyceride production leads to more LDL particles which increases the risk of heart disease.

When excess triglycerides are produced due to excess sugar consumption, they are transported in the blood byphoto (3) little submarines called lipoproteins to be used for energy or to be stored in fat cells. These particular submarines are called “very low density lipoproteins” (VLDL’s) and they also carry cholesterol. Lot’s of triglycerides leads to numerous VLDL’s which contain a large cargo of triglycerides and a little bit of cholesterol. As the VLDL’s journey through photo (2)the bloodstream, they release mostly triglycerides and become smaller and more dense. In this way they become intermediate density lipoproteins (IDL’s) and finally low density lipoproteins (LDL’s) which now carry mainly cholesterol and are famously called by the misnomer “bad cholesterol”. Cholesterol itself never becomes “bad” but this process leads to lots of small dense LDL’s which can enter the lining of our arteries and start the development of atherosclerosis. Is your head spinning? Let’s take a break and conclude this discussion on Wednesday.