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Triglycerides and cholesterol: Differences, effects and prevention

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

It is not uncommon that if you hear the word cholesterol or triglycerides immediately you associate it with diseases and fat in the blood vessels; it is even possible that you think they are the same and cause you to fear and anguish if the doctor mentions any abnormality regarding one of them or if a relative has this condition, since, although children can also suffer from these alterations, it is more common for older people to suffer from it.

However, it is essential that you know what they mean when someone talks about triglycerides or cholesterol and that you know that they are more than just health problems. Therefore, if you have ever wondered if cholesterol and triglycerides are the same, FastlyHealwe will inform you in detail.

Are cholesterol and triglycerides the same?

Both cholesterol and triglycerides are substances called lipids, but within this category, they belong to different groups due to their composition, the triglycerides being more referred to as fats.

Answering whether cholesterol and triglycerides are the same, we can already tell you that, although both are lipids, they are different since they have different origins and functions in your body.

As for the origin of these lipids in your body, cholesterol is produced in the liver mainly, although you can also incorporate it depending on the type of diet you eat, which is when its level tends to increase. At the same time, triglycerides are only present in your body when consuming food since they result from transforming the calories that you do not need, so if your diet is rich in calories. If you do not use them immediately, your blood triglyceride level will increase.

If we talk about the functions, cholesterol and triglycerides are not the same either; since cholesterol is an essential part of your body for the construction of new cells and some hormones, it favors the production of bile, and it is necessary to manufacture vitamin D. It is a fundamental component of the covering of the nerves and the spinal cord.

On the other hand, the triglycerides that have been stored in your fat cells come into action when your body needs energy and you have not eaten food; for this, they are transformed into other compounds that your tissues use to obtain power, also by being part of body fat helps in thermal insulation protecting your body from low temperatures.

An adequate level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body

It would help if you didn’t confuse cholesterol and triglycerides with something harmful to your body; they must be available to carry out various functions that keep your health in good condition.

The ideal amount of cholesterol in the blood that is present is less than 200 mg / dL, but without reaching deficient levels, some specialists consider that a value below 120 mg / dL can already represent a problem; Likewise, a blood cholesterol concentration greater than 200 mg / dL favors you to develop a disorder, while above 240 mg / dL increases the probability that you will present more diseases and with more significant complications. We encourage you to visit our article on average cholesterol values.

On the other hand, in your body, blood triglycerides should be below 150 mg / dL, while if the value is well below the ideal or is between this and 199 mg / dL, you should take measures to increase or decrease them, as the case may be, and thus prevent complications, but if you present a level above 200 mg / dL or even higher than 500 mg / dL you must act immediately and combat diseases that may have already occurred. In the following FastlyHealarticle, you will find more information about average triglyceride values.

Effects of the alteration in the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood

One of the things that triglycerides and cholesterol have in common is their property of not being able to dissolve in the blood, which is not a problem if you present them in average amounts. Still, it is when there is a more significant contribution of these in your organism since they tend to accumulate and circulate through your blood vessels with a high probability of causing any complications.

In triglycerides, when you have a higher than average blood level, generally, you do not observe symptoms until damage has occurred in your body. The disease is possible in an advanced stage, mainly causing heart disease or a stroke. However, It can also cause pancreatitis and other conditions of the liver and spleen, and it can also increase the effect of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. On the contrary, although it is less frequent and less severe, you will notice that you are losing muscle mass for no apparent reason if you have low triglycerides. With significant amounts of protein in different organs, the absorption of lipids is affected. You may have inflammation of the retina.

Regarding cholesterol, if you have it high, you can suffer from some severe heart disease, mostly atherosclerosis, with consequences such as angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, or cerebral and peripheral arterial disease. Likewise, low cholesterol values ​​in your body also result in an adverse reaction, causing alterations in blood flow; the fibers of the arterial membranes are weakened, with the probability that you develop hemorrhages due to the rupture of the capillaries of the blood vessels could also deteriorate. A substance that protects the nerves and a brain hemorrhage occurs; it can even cause other alterations in your body by stopping or decreasing the release of certain hormones, such as those responsible for developing sexual characteristics, those that help eliminate fat, or those with effect relaxing.

Tips to prevent cholesterol and triglyceride problems

Recognizing what factors can cause a change in cholesterol and triglyceride levels will help you avoid it or find a way to control it. A diet that is not unbalanced in both fats and proteins, overeating bad foods for cholesterol, being overweight and obese, excessive consumption of alcoholic or sugary beverages, a sedentary lifestyle, and the use of certain medications such as diuretics, steroids, and birth control pills, are some factors that you can modify to restore an average level of triglycerides and cholesterol; However, in causes such as age, sex, genetic predisposition or liver or kidney diseases, type 2 diabetes and thyroid problems, you must go to the doctor to give you some treatment to keep these lipids under control. You can visit our articles on recipes to lower cholesterolremedies for high cholesterol or diet to lower triglycerides and learn the steps you should take to reduce their values.

If you take measures such as adequate nutrition, exercise, and avoid other triggers, you can significantly reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your body, the latter being the easiest to eliminate, while restoring the average amount of cholesterol in your body you may need a supplement with some medication if the doctor considers it prudent, since being a substance that is produced within your own body there may be variations in its concentration or your condition represents a predisposition for these alterations.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any kind of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Is cholesterol and triglycerides the same? We recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart and circulation .

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