Authored by: Eric Venn-Watson, MD
With the new year already under way, many of us will head to our general practitioners to get our annual physical exams. Part of that exam will likely include a lipid panel. A lipid panel blood test measures your cholesterol and also your triglyceride levels. If your triglycerides have been historically high, you can learn how to lower them, and lower your risk of certain associated health risks.
In this article we’ll discuss what triglycerides are, why they matter, and how you can lower them with certain diet and lifestyle adjustments. We’ll also consider how the use of a certain odd-chain saturated fatty acid may be the key in keeping your triglyceride levels within healthy range.
What Are Triglycerides?
You’ve just met with your doctor to discuss your lipid panel and you’re told your triglyceride levels are too high. That likely wasn’t the news you were expecting, and you probably feel a little lost. What are triglycerides? Why do they need to be lower?
Triglycerides are kind of like cholesterol, in that they’re a type of fat that is stored in your blood. Triglycerides are stored in your fat cells and later released as energy when your body needs it. Cholesterol is a type of fat that is stored in your blood that is not converted to energy.
Triglycerides come from the foods you eat, mostly carbohydrates. That may sound confusing since triglycerides are a type of fat, but the biggest source of triglycerides in your body comes from taking in too many carbohydrates.
When you eat an excess of carbohydrates (calories your body cannot burn away), your triglyceride levels increase. This is because your body turns those excess carbohydrates into fat which is later stored in your blood.
The foods most commonly associated with levels of high triglycerides are:
None of these foods are inherently bad on their own, but eating an excess of these foods can lead to higher triglyceride levels.
You’re at a higher risk of having high triglycerides if you are overweight, or if you have uncontrolled diabetes. That’s why maintaining a healthy weight and balanced diet are crucial for keeping your triglyceride levels under control.
Healthy Triglyceride Levels
What’s normal and what’s not? If you’ve been diagnosed with high triglycerides, you likely want to know what’s considered normal range.
Under 150 ml/dL
500 mg/dL or above
Why Do Triglyceride Levels Matter?
High triglycerides might not seem like a big deal -- just a number, right? It’s not quite that simple. High triglycerides are associated with a wide range of health problems. High triglycerides can cause hardening of the arteries, called atherosclerosis, which leads to a much higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
High triglyceride levels also lead to sudden pancreatitis, a condition that is particularly painful and can be life threatening.
High triglycerides are often a marker for underlying conditions like:
It goes without saying you want to avoid these negative health markers and lower your triglycerides. You can lower your triglycerides and improve your health by following a few simple lifestyle changes and incorporating healthy dietary fats into your diet. Here’s how.
5 Tips To Help Lower Triglycerides
When you get a high triglyceride diagnosis from your healthcare provider, you want to know how you can get back on track fast.
Here are five tips on how to lower triglycerides quickly, and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Not only will exercise improve your triglyceride levels, it can also help you manage cholesterol levels.
Want to learn more about how using fat to battle fat actually works? Read on!
C15:0 and Your Triglycerides
We know what you’re thinking: “I’m supposed to be lowering the amount of fat in my blood, so how can consuming fat help me?”
The first thing to know is that not all fats are bad. For instance, we know that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are beneficial and an essential part of our diet. Essential means our bodies need them to function healthfully, but they cannot and do not produce them. A good way to increase our omega-3 and omega-6 concentrations is to consume them in our diets.
Pentadecanoic acid, also known as C15:0, is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid present in trace levels in butter and other whole dairy products. Unfortunately, because dietary guidelines recommend that we limit our intake of whole fat dairy products containing saturated fats, that means you likely aren’t getting much of it in your diet.
During the late 1970s, the U.S. government released dietary guidelines that told us that all fats, especially saturated fats, were bad. We listened, and since that time the consumption of foods like whole fat milk and butter have been on the decline. Research suggests we got it wrong.
In fact, studies support that C15:0, as a healthy odd-chain saturated fat, can support healthy triglyceride levels, giving you a better chance of keeping your lipid panels within normal range once and for all.
What exactly does C15:0 do in terms of keeping your triglycerides lower?
Science supports that C15:0 is a fatty acid that can promote our health and may help maintain healthy triglyceride levels. Adding a C15:0 supplement to your health stack can be an important part of obtaining a new level of health and wellness in the new year!
Along with changing your diet and exercise habits, cutting back on your alcohol consumption and lowering your sugar intake, C15:0 may help keep your triglyceride levels lower, which will make your doctor happy and keep you healthier.
To learn more about how C15:0 can support your health for the long-run, click here!
By Stephanie Venn-Watson, DVM, MPH
It’s a classic picture of getting older: a hunched back posture, bent knees, knobby knuckles, and an overall look of discomfort and fatigue. This is also a picture of arthritis, a condition that can have an early onset and increase in severity year by year.
According to the CDC, arthritis affects 23% of all adults age 18 and older, which is about one in every four adults. Arthritis can limit a person’s day to day activities and preclude them from doing things they would or once did enjoy.
Arthritis can also piggyback on other chronic diseases, like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. In essence, ensuring your protection against these other chronic diseases can lower your risk of developing arthritis, and can help ease the pain of arthritis if you already have it.
Being proactive in preventing arthritis can benefit you for years to come. Let’s look at what arthritis actually is, what causes it, what makes it worse, and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing it.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a term that covers a multitude of inflammatory conditions of the joints that produce pain which can be long-term. Although it’s been classically referred to as an older person’s disease, arthritis affects people of all ages, including children.
Symptoms of arthritis include but are not limited to:
Arthritis is caused by a decrease in the amount of cartilage between the bone joints. This cushiony material keeps bones from rubbing against each other and helps you maintain fluidity of motion.
There are many causes of arthritis, here are just a few:
If you already have arthritis, controlling your pain can be a trying task. Between medications and lifestyle and dietary changes, you can usually find a way to maintain comfort levels and keep your arthritic pain under control. There are some irritants, however, that can make arthritic pain worse.
What Makes Arthritis Worse?
When you have arthritis, the last thing you want to do is experience a flare up, or a time period of intense arthritic pain. Your diet and lifestyle play major roles in keeping your arthritic pain under control and manageable.
If you have arthritis, avoiding the following foods can help you avoid flare ups and better control your arthritic pain:
Controlling your arthritic pain by avoiding certain foods can help you feel better and experience less arthritic flare ups.
5 Tips To Keep Your Joints Healthy for the Long Run
It may seem like arthritis is unavoidable, given the numerous pathways that lead to it. However, that isn’t true. You can give yourself a fighting chance against arthritis by changing certain dietary and lifestyle habits. Here are 5 tips on how to prevent arthritis.
Maintain a healthy weight. The more weight you carry, the more stress you put on your joints. Maintaining a healthy weight can help you avoid the onset of arthritis, especially in your knees.
Control your blood sugar. As previously mentioned, arthritis is often a piggyback disease that occurs alongside other chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Controlling your blood sugar will help you avoid potential inflammation from the release of cytokines and help you reduce your risk of diabetes and arthritis.
Exercise. Keeping your bones and joints strong and mobile is crucial in avoiding arthritis. Moving for at least thirty minutes a day, most every day of the week, can help you keep your joints oiled and increase your overall mobility.
Stop smoking. Research suggests a strong link between smoking and arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis. Stopping smoking now reduces your risk of becoming one in five adult smokers who suffer from arthritis.
Eat enough healthy fat. Not all fats are bad. In fact, some fats are essential. Consuming enough healthy fat, like C15:0, can help you support your overall health, including joint health, for the long run.*
C15:0 and Arthritis Prevention
C15:0, also known as pentadecanoic acid, is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid that a growing library of research shows can help you fight back against the breakdown of your cells due to aging.† This breakdown of cells leads to chronic disease related to aging, like arthritis.
C15:0 is found in foods like full fat dairy, and because dietary guidelines recommended in the 1970s told us not to eat fat, not many of us have been getting this fatty acid.
C15:0 can help support joint health by protecting you at a cellular level:†*
Arthritis can seem unavoidable. There are numerous causes of arthritis, but they may be kept at bay with dietary and lifestyle changes. C15:0 can be one of those changes that helps keep your body healthy and helps you age on your own terms.*
To learn more about C15:0 and how it supports your health, click here!
STEPHANIE VENN-WATSON, dvm, mph
Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson is a veterinary epidemiologist dedicated to improving both human and animal health. Before co-founding Seraphina Therapeutics and Epitracker, Inc,. she worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Venn-Watson has over 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is an inventor on 40+ patents. Her dedication to discovering natural compounds to improve global health has been featured in/on Forbes, NPR Science Friday, PBS, National Geographic, BBC, and more.
ERIC VENN-WATSON, MD
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson is a physician, US Navy veteran and serial entrepreneur. Prior to Seraphina Therapeutics, Eric founded multiple companies in therapeutics discovery, healthcare analytics, and medical device industries as well as working in leadership roles in several life science companies.