"Triglycerides" is the chemical name for fat. Chemically, triglycerides have a three-carbon backbone (glycerol) to which are attached fatty acids, which are strings of carbon and hydrogen atoms, most of which will eventually be oxidized to carbon dioxide and water, producing energy in the process. When not being actively oxidized or metabolized, triglycerides are stored in adipose, or fatty tissue, for oxidation at a later time. High levels of triglycerides in the blood have been associated with increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. Triglycerides may be increased by heredity, abdominal obesity, resistance to insulin, diabetes, and certain medications. They may be decreased by weight loss, control of glucose in diabetes, decreased simple sugar intake in the diet, and increased activity.
DONALD A. SMITH