High Triglycerides (Holistic)
About This Condition
Too many of the fatty compounds known as triglycerides can compromise your health. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
About This Condition
Triglycerides (TGs) are a group of fatty compounds that circulate in the bloodstream and are stored in the fat tissue. Individuals who have elevated blood levels of TGs (known as hypertriglyceridemia) appear to be at increased risk of developing heart disease .
People with diabetes often have elevated TG levels. Successfully controlling diabetes will, in some cases, lead to normalization of TG levels.
Very high triglycerides can cause pancreatitis, an enlarged liver and spleen, and fatty deposits in the skin called xanthomas. Otherwise, high triglycerides may not cause symptoms until and unless heart disease or other diseases of blood vessels develop.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Smoking has been linked to elevated TG levels.2 As always, it makes sense for smokers to quit.
Obesity increases TG levels.3 Maintaining ideal body weight helps protect against elevated TG levels. Many doctors encourage people who have elevated TGs and who are overweight to lose the extra weight.
The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.
What Are Star Ratings?
Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
1. Merrill JR, Holly RG, Anderson RL, et al. Hyperlipemic response of young trained and untrained men after a high fat meal. Arteriosclerosis 1989;9:217–23.
2. Cowan LD, Wilcosky T, Criqui MH, et al. Demographic, behavioral, biochemical, and dietary correlates of plasma triglycerides. Arteriosclerosis 1985;5:466–80.
3. Despres J-P, Tremblay A, Leblanc C, Bouchard C. Effect of the amount of body fat on the age-associated increase in serum cholesterol. Prev Med 1988;17:423–31.
4. Patsch JR, Miesenbock G, Hopferwieser T, et al. Relation of triglyceride metabolism and coronary artery disease. Studies in the postprandial state. Arterioscler Thromb 1992;12:1336–45.
5. Ryu JE, Howard G, Craven TE, et al. Postprandial triglyceridemia and carotid atherosclerosis in middle-aged subjects. Stroke 1992;23:823–8.
6. Zoppo A, Maggi FM, Catapano AL. A successful dietary treatment fails to normalize plasma triglyceride postprandial response in type IV patients. Atherosclerosis 1999;146:19–23.
7. Consensus Development Panel. Treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. JAMA 1984;251:1196–200.
8. Burr ML, Fehily AM, Gilbert JF, et al. Effects of changes in fat, fish, and fibre intakes on death and myocardial reinfarction: diet and reinfarction trial (DART). Lancet 1989;ii:757–61.
9. Kromhout D, Bosschieter EB, de Lezenne Coulander C. The inverse relation between fish consumption and 20-year mortality from coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med 1985;312:1205–9.
10. Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, et al. Dietary intake of marine n-3 fatty acids, fish intake, and the risk of coronary disease among men. N Engl J Med 1995;332:977–82.
11. Anderson JW, Gustafson NJ. High-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet. Postgrad Med 1987;82:40–55 [review].
12. Glore SR, van Treeck D, Knehans AW, Guild M. Soluble fiber and serum lipids: a literature review. J Am Diet Assoc 1994;94:425–36.
13. Steinberg D, Pearson TA, Kuller LH. Alcohol and atherosclerosis. Ann Intern Med 1991;114:967–76.
14. Reiser S. Effect of dietary sugars on metabolic risk factors associated with heart disease. Nutr Health 1985;3:203–16.
15. Szanto S, Yudkin J. The effect of dietary sucrose on blood lipids serum insulin, platelet adhesiveness and body weight in human volunteers. Postgrad Med J 1969;45:602–7.
16. Hollenbeck CB. Dietary fructose effects on lipoprotein metabolism and risk for coronary artery disease. Am J Clin Nutr 1993;58(5 Suppl):800S–9S.
17. Cominacini L, Zocca I, Garbin U, et al. Long-term effect of a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet on plasma lipids of patients affected by familial endogenous hypertriglyceridemia. Am J Clin Nutr 1988;48:57–65.
18. West C, Sullivan DR, Katan MB, et al. Boys from populations with high-carbohydrate intake have higher fasting triglyceride levels than boys from populations with high-fat intake. Am J Epidemiol 1990;131:271–82.
19. Ullmann D, Connor WE, Hatcher LF, et al. Will a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet lower plasma lipids and lipoproteins without producing hypertriglyceridemia? Arterioscler Thromb 1991;11:1059–67.
20. Naismith DJ, Akinyanju PA, Szanto S, Yudkin J. The effect in volunteers of coffee and decaffeinated coffee on blood glucose, insulin, plasma lipids and some factors involved in blood clotting. Nutr Metab 1970;12:144–51.
21. Prichard BN, Smith CCT, Ling KLE, Betteridge DJ. Fish oils and cardiovascular disease. BMJ 1995;310:819–20 [editorial/review].
22. Von Schacky C, Fischer S, Weber PC. Long-term effects of dietary marine omega-3 fatty acids upon plasma and cellular lipids, platelet function, and eicosanoid formation in humans. J Clin Invest 1985;76:1626–31.
23. Leaf A, Weber PC. Cardiovascular effects of n-3 fatty acids. N Engl J Med 1988;318:549–57.
24. Adler AJ, Holub BJ. Effect of garlic and fish-oil supplementation on serum lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in hypercholesterolemic men. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;65:445–50.
25. Haglund O, Luostarinen R, Wallin R, et al. The effects of fish oil on triglycerides, cholesterol, fibrinogen and malondialdehyde in humans supplemented with vitamin E. J Nutr 1991;121:165–9.
26. Oostenbrug GS, Mensink RP, Hornstra G. A moderate in vivo vitamin E supplement counteracts the fish-oil-induced increase in in vitro oxidation of human low-density lipoproteins. Am J Clin Nutr 1993;57:827S.
27. Agarwal RC, Singh SP, Saran RK, et al. Clinical trial of gugulipid new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626–34.
28. Brown WV. Niacin for lipid disorders. Postgrad Med 1995;98:183–93 [review].
29. Head KA. Inositol hexaniacinate: a safer alternative to niacin. Altern Med Rev 1996;1:176–84 [review].
30. Murray M. Lipid-lowering drugs vs. inositol hexaniacinate. Am J Natural Med 1995;2(8):9–12 [review].
31. Arsenio L, Bodria P, Magnati G, et al. Effectiveness of long-term treatment with pantethine in patients with dyslipidemia. Clin Ther 1986;8:537–45.
32. Avogaro P, Bon GB, Fusello M. Effect of pantethine on lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in man. Curr Ther Res 1983;33:488–93.
33. Maggi GC, Donati C, Criscuoli G. Pantethine: a physiological lipomodulating agent, in the treatment of hyperlipidemias. Curr Ther Res 1982;32:380–6.
34. Asgary S, Naderi GH, Sarrafzadegan N, et al. Antihypertensive and antihyperlipidemic effects of Achillea wilhelmsii. Drugs Exp Clin Res 2000;26:89–93.
35. Bierenbaum ML, Fleischman AI, Raichelson RI. Long term human studies on the lipid effects of oral calcium. Lipids 1972;7:202–6.
36. Carlson LA, Olsson AG, Oro L, Rossner S. Effects of oral calcium upon serum cholesterol and triglycerides in patients with hyperlipidemia. Atherosclerosis 1971;14:391–400.
37. Lee NA, Reasner CA. Beneficial effect of chromium supplementation on serum triglyceride levels in NIDDM. Diabetes Care 1994;17:1449–52.
38. Abraham AS, Brooks BA, Eylath U. The effects of chromium supplementation on serum glucose and lipids in patients with and without non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Metabolism 1992;41:768–71.
39. Thomas VL, Gropper SS. Effect of chromium nicotinic acid supplementation on selected cardiovascular disease risk factors. Biol Trace Elem Res 1996;55:297–305.
40. Rabinowitz MB, Gonick HC, Levin SR, Davidson MB. Effects of chromium and yeast supplements on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetic men. Diabetes Care 1983;6:319–27.
41. Uusitupa MI, Kumpulainen JT, Voutilainen E, et al. Effect of inorganic chromium supplementation on glucose tolerance, insulin response, and serum lipids in noninsulin-dependent diabetics. Am J Clin Nutr 1983;38:404–10.
42. Offenbacher EG, Pi-Sunyer FX. Beneficial effect of chromium-rich yeast on glucose tolerance and blood lipids in elderly subjects. Diabetes 1980;29:919–25.
43. Offenbacher EG, Rinko CJ, Pi-Sunyer FX. The effects of inorganic chromium and brewer’s yeast on glucose tolerance, plasma lipids, and plasma chromium in elderly subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1985;42:454–61.
44. Roeback JR Jr, Hla KM, Chambless LE, Fletcher RH. Effects of chromium supplementation on serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in men taking beta-blockers. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 1991;115:917–24.
45. Wilson BE, Gondy A. Effects of chromium supplementation on fasting insulin levels and lipid parameters in healthy, non-obese young subjects. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1995;28:179–84.
46. Thomas VL, Gropper SS. Effect of chromium nicotinic acid supplementation on selected cardiovascular disease risk factors. Biol Trace Elem Res 1996;55:297–305.
47. Sharma RD, Raghuram TC, Dayasagar Rao V. Hypolipidaemic effect of fenugreek seeds. A clinical study. Phyother Res 1991;5:145–7.
48. Sharma RD, Sarkar DK, Hazra B, et al. Hypolipidaemic effect of fenugreek seeds: A chronic study in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. Phytother Res 1996;10:332–4.
49. Sharma RD, Raghuram TC, Rao NS. Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type I diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr 1990;44:301–6.
50. Prasanna M. Hypolipidemic effect of fenugreek: A clinical study. Indian J Pharmacol 2000;32:34–6.
51. Yamashita K, Kawai K, Itakura M. Effect of fructo-oligosaccharides on blood glucose and serum lipids in diabetic subjects. Nutr Res 1984;4:961–6.
52. Jackson KG, Taylor GRJ, Clohessy AM, Williams CM. The effect of the daily intake of inulin on fasting lipid, insulin and glucose concentrations in middle-aged men and women. Br J Nutr 1999;82:23–30.
53. Roberfroid M. Dietary fibre, inulin and oligofructose. A review comparing their physiological effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1993;33:103–48 [review].
54. Davidson MH, Synecki C, Maki KC, Drennen KB. Effects of dietary inulin in serum lipids in men and women with hypercholesterolaemia. Nutr Res 1998;3:503–17.
55. Luo J, Rizkalla SW, Alamowitch C, et al. Chronic consumption of short-chain fructooligosaccharides by health subjects decreased basal hepatic glucose production but had no effect on insulin-stimulated glucose metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;63:939–45.
56. Pedersen A, Sandstrom B, van Amelsvoort JMM. The effect of ingestion of inulin on blood lipids and gastrointestinal symptoms in healthy females. 1997;78:215–22.
57. van Dokkum W, Wezendonk B, Srikumar TS, van den Heuvel EG. Effect of nondigestible oligosaccharides on large-bowel functions, blood lipid concentrations and glucose absorption in young healthy male subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 1999;53:1–7.
58. Warshafsky S, Kamer R, Sivak S. Effect of garlic on total serum cholesterol: A meta-analysis. Ann Int Med 1993;119(7)599–605.
59. Silagy C, Neil A. Garlic as a lipid-lowering agent—a meta-analysis. J R Coll Phys London 1994;28(1):39–45.
60. Neil HAW, Silagy CA, Lancaster T, et al. Garlic powder in the treatment of moderate hyperlipidaemia: A controlled trial and a meta-analysis. J R Coll Phys 1996;30:329–34.
61. McCrindle BW, Helden E, Conner WT. Garlic extract therapy in children with hypercholesterolemia. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1998;152:1089–94.
62. Isaacsohn JL, Moser M, Stein EA, et al. Garlic powder and plasma lipids and lipoproteins. Arch Intern Med 1998;158:1189–94.
63. Berthold HK, Sudhop T, von Bergmann K. Effect of a garlic oil preparation on serum lipoproteins and cholesterol metabolism. JAMA 1998;279:1900–2.
64. Lawson L. Garlic oil for hypercholesterolemia—negative results. Quart Rev Natural Med Fall 1998;185–6.
65. Garlic powder for hyperlipidemia—analysis of recent negative results. Quart Rev Natural Med Fall 1998;187–9.
66. Brown WV. Niacin for lipid disorders. Postgrad Med 1995;98:183–93 [review].
67. Head KA. Inositol hexaniacinate: a safer alternative to niacin. Altern Med Rev 1996;1:176–84 [review].
68. Murray M. Lipid-lowering drugs vs. inositol hexaniacinate. Am J Natural Med 1995;2(8):9–12 [review].
69. Bunea R, El Farrah K, Deutsch L. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the clinical course of hyperlipidemia. Altern Med Rev 2004;9:420–28.
70. Pola P, Savi L, Grilli M, et al. Carnitine in the therapy of dyslipidemic patients. Curr Ther Res 1980;27:208–16.
71. Abdel-Aziz MT, Abdou MS, Soliman K, et al. Effect of carnitine on blood lipid pattern in diabetic patients. Nutr Rep Int 1984;29:1071–9.
72. Anonymous. Carnitine, clue or cure? Lancet 1982;2:1027–8.
73. Gouni-Berthold I, Berthold HK. Policosanol: clinical pharmacology and therapeutic significance of a new lipid-lowering agent. Am Heart J 2002;143:356–65 [review].
74. Mirkin A, Mas R, Martinto M, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of policosanol in hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 2001;21:31-41.
75. Castano G, Mas R, Fernandez L et al. Effects of policosanol 20 versus 40 mg/day in the treatment of patients with type II hypercholesterolemia: A 6-month double-blind study. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 2001;21:43–57.
76. Mas R, Castano G, Illnait J, et al. Effects of policosanol in patients with type II hypercholesterolemia and additional coronary risk factors. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1999;65:439–47.
77. Torres O, Agramonte AJ, Illnait J, et al. Treatment of hypercholesterolemia in NIDDM with policosanol. Diabetes Care 1995;18:393–7.
78. Canetti M, Moreira M, Mas R, et al. A two-year study on the efficacy and tolerability of policosanol in patients with type II hyperlipoproteinaemia. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1995;15:159–65.
79. Aneiros E, Calderson B, Más R, et al. Effect of successive dose increases of policosanol on the lipid profile and tolerability of treatment. Curr Ther Res 1993;54:304–12.
80. Pons P, Rodríquez M, Más R, et al. One-year efficacy and safety of policosanol in patients with type II hypercholesterolemia. Curr Ther Res 1994;55:1084–92.
81. Castano G, Canetti M, Moreira M, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of policosanol in elderly patients with type II hypercholesterolemia: a 12-month study. Curr Ther Res 1995;56:819–23.
82. Castano G, Tula L, Canetti M, et al. Effects of policosanol in hypertensive patients with type II hypercholesterolemia. Curr Ther Res 1996;57:691–5.
83. Fernandez JC, Mas R, Castano G, et al. Comparison of the efficacy, safety and tolerability of policosanol versus fluvastatin in elderly hypercholesterolaemic women. Clin Drug Invest 2001;21:103–13.
84. Castano G, Mas R, Fernandez JC, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of policosanol compared with lovastatin in patients with type II hypercholesterolemia and concomitant coronary risk factors. Curr Ther Res 2000;61:137–46.
85. Alcocer L, Fernandez L, Campos E, Mas Ferreiro R. A comparative study of policosanol Versus acipimox in patients with type II hypercholesterolemia.Int J Tissue React 1999;21:85–92.
86. Crespo N, Illnait J, Mas R, et al. Comparative study of the efficacy and tolerability of policosanol and lovastatin in patients with hypercholesterolemia and noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1999;19:117–27.
87. Castano G, Mas R, Arruzazabala ML, et al. Effects of policosanol and pravastatin on lipid profile, platelet aggregation and endothelemia in older hypercholesterolemic patients. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1999;19:105–16.
88. Ortensi G, Gladstein J, Valli H, et al. A comparative study of policosanol versus simvastatin in elderly patients with hypercholesterolemia. Curr Ther Res 1997;58:390–401.
89. Benitez M, Romero C, Mas R, et al. A comparative study of policosanol versus pravastatin in patients with type II hypercholesterolemia. Curr Ther Res 1997;58:859–67.
90. Jenkins DJA, Wolever TMS, Vidgen E, et al. Effect of psyllium in hypercholesterolemia at two monounsaturated fatty acid intakes. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;65:1524–33.
91. Ganji V, Kies CV. Pysllium husk fiber supplementation to the diets rich in soybean or coconut oil: Hypocholesterolemic effect in healthy humans. Int J Food Sci Nutr 1996;47:103–10.
92. Davidson MH, Maki KC, Kong JC, et al. Long-term effects of consuming foods containing psyllium seed husk on serum lipids in subjects with hypercholesterolemia. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;67:367–76.
93. Wang J, Lu Z, Chi J, et al. Multicenter clinical trial of the serum lipid-lowering effects of a Monascus purpureus (red yeast) rice preparation from traditional Chinese medicine. Curr Ther Res 1997;58:964–77.
94. Heber D, Lembertas A, Lu QY, et al. An analysis of nine proprietary Chinese red yeast rice dietary supplements: implications of variability in chemical profile and contents. J Altern Complement Med 2001;7:133–9.
95. Earnest CP, Almada AL, Mitchell TL. High-performance capillary electrophoresis-pure creatine monohydrate reduces blood lipids in men and women. Clin Sci 1996;91:113–8.
96. Volek JS, Duncan ND, Mazzetti SA, et al. No effect of heavy resistance training and creatine supplementation on blood lipids. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2000;10:144–56.
97. Tsubono Y, Tsugane S. Green tea intake in relation to serum lipid levels in middle-aged Japanese men and women. Ann Epidemiol 1997;7:280–4.
98. Imai K, Nakachi K. Cross sectional study of effects of drinking green tea on cardiovascular and liver diseases. BMJ 1995;310:693–6.
99. Kubo K, Nanba H. Anti-hyperliposis effect of maitake fruit body (Grifola frondosa). I. Biol Pharm Bull 1997;20:781–5.
Last Review: 11-07-2012
Copyright © 2012 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com
The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2013.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
465 Congress Street Suite 600 | Portland, Maine 04101-3537 | (207) 775-7001