Elevated blood TG are [I]correlated[/I] with high insulin, but they do not cause it. Eating large amounts of carbohydrate will result in elevated insulin and higher fasting TG levels. These are both results of chronically elevated blood sugar, and not causes or effects of each other.
The Scientist - thank you so much for clearing that up for me! Here's another confusion - is sat fat (Palmitic acid from carb consumption) the same thing as TG?
[QUOTE=jackson44;1013332]The Scientist - thank you so much for clearing that up for me! Here's another confusion - is sat fat (Palmitic acid from carb consumption) the same thing as TG?
Not quite. Triglyceride simply means a glycerol molecule attached to three fatty acid tails. Each fatty acid can be saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Nearly all the fat in your body (and all the fat you eat) is in TG form because free fatty acids (FFA) are difficult to control, transport and store. TG are only broken down into separate FFA when they are about to by metabolized and used for energy. So, when your liver ramps up de novo lipogenesis and converts carbs into palmitic acid, each resulting fatty acid molecule gets incorporated (along with two fatty acids and a glycerol backbone) into one TG molecule. The TG can then be attached to protein carriers (like VLDL) and sent out into blood circulation to either be broken down to be used for energy, or kept intact and taken up by adipose cells to be stored as fat.
The Scientist! - Thanks for taking the time to help me out! So, if I eat the sat fat, will I convert it to energy first before it becomes a TG? There is no such thing as "good" TG, right?
Thanks again. Really appreciate it!
The saturated fat you are eating is already in TG form. Just like your fat tissue, cows and chickens and coconuts and every other organism store their saturated (and unsaturated) fats as TG. The only time you (or any other animal) break down TG into separate FFA molecules is when you are about to use them for energy. This means that TG is great to eat, and also a great way for your body to store energy as adipose tissue (just not to much). In your blood, TG itself is not really "bad". It just happens that eating a lot of carbs (especially sugar) drives your blood TG levels way up. The TG itself is harmless, but it is a sign that a lot of other things are going wrong metabolically. That is why high TG levels are correlated with heart disease and many other problems. The TG itself it not killing you, it just happens to pop up at the same time when other things taking place that will kill you.
So the big problem with TG is that are body produces bad LDL to transport it?
The Scientist - thanks again. You are one really smart paleo scientist.
[QUOTE=jackson44;1013424]So the big problem with TG is that are body produces bad LDL to transport it?
The Scientist - thanks again. You are one really smart paleo scientist.[/QUOTE]
You are starting to ask (very good) complicated questions. These questions have answers, but the science that is out there right now hasn't really found them yet. All we know if that elevated TG, and elevated LDL/VLDL (relative to HDL) is bad news. We have good information about what makes these things go out of whack (carbs, especially fructose), and some of the chemistry of how it works. We also know that when these number get messed up, people are more likely to have health problems. What we don't know is [I]exactly[/I] what causes the final result we care about (heart disease is one example).
For example: imagine that you have never seen a car before and want to know how it works, but can't open it up to look at all the parts (we can't see all the "parts" of a cell - proteins are too small to observe directly). What would you see? After a long time of watching and observing cars, you might see that certain things like increased exhaust smoke, elevated operating temperature, and knocking noises in the engine compartment all [I]correlate[/I] with mechanical failure in the future, but you would know exactly what caused the failure, because you haven't taken apart the engine to see exactly how it works.
When talking about our bodies, we are dealign with something many thousands of times more complex than a car, and we just don't know exactly how things work yet on a biochemical level. We have a few important pieces of the puzzle worked out. Things like how energy is metabolized in mitochondria and how neurotransmitters signal is relatively easy because they have acute, shot-term effects. Things like TG levels leading to heart disease are incredibly hard to figure out because they don't cause an acute effect – the problems take decades to show up.
My triglycerides were almost 1000 about 5 years ago, they put me on a drug called Lopid to bring it down. I stayed around 200 while taking the max dose of Lopid for about 4 years. During that time I developed fatty liver disease, pre-diabetes, and high BP.
I found Primal Blueprint, quit eating crap, lost 30 pounds in 3 months and was off all meds with 6 months. My trigs are now in the 30-40 range. Liver perfect.
One problem with SAD is all the alcohol and HFCS which overloads the liver and causes lots of circulating trigs somehow. Clearing diet clears the liver and good health follows!
[QUOTE=The Scientist;1013438]Things like TG levels leading to heart disease are incredibly hard to figure out because they don't cause an acute effect – the problems take decades to show up.[/QUOTE]
Who are you??? I like your thoughtful answers. Hope you stick around for a while!
[QUOTE=otzi;1013441]Who are you??? I like your thoughtful answers. Hope you stick around for a while![/QUOTE]
I do research on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at a large research hospital, and teach Genetics and Anatomy and Physiology courses at a nearby university. I read posts around here on occasion and am frustrated with the confusion, but am usually too busy to respond. I have a long relaxing weekend on my hands and thought it seemed like a good time to jump in.