May 142012
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Triglycerides are blood lipids, and like cholesterol, when levels get too high, they can predispose people to coronary artery disease. Excessively high triglycerides are also called hypertriglyceridemia and elevated levels should be reduced to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. Your health care provider is your best ally when it comes to reducing your triglyceride levels. Getting a physical examination may help your doctor understand why your levels are elevated. In addition to obesity and alcohol consumption, high triglycerides can be related to medical conditions such as hypothyroidism. Treating hypothyroidism can frequently stabilize your triglyceride levels.

Niacin is a B-vitamin that can naturally lower your triglyceride level. Many cereals are fortified with niacin and foods such as potatoes, whole grain breads, lentils, wild salmon and peanut butter also are rich in niacin. In addition, niacin is also available in supplement form at most grocery stores and pharmacies. Before you start taking niacin supplements, however, talk to your doctor. Taking niacin can produce “niacin flush” which can mimic intense hot flashes.

Perhaps one of the most effective ways to naturally lower your triglyceride level is to lose weight. In addition to consuming a healthy diet, an aerobic exercise program can further complement your weight loss efforts. Before implementing a change in diet and exercise routines, people should first check with their health care providers. In addition to lowering triglycerides, losing weight can also lower blood pressure, blood glucose levels and improve breathing in those with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

Fish oil supplements are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce triglyceride levels. They can, however, interfere with certain medications such as blood thinners. Taking fish oil supplements can enhance the effects of blood thinners and increase the risk for bleeding, so discussing their use with your physician is important.

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