Differences between cholesterol and triglycerides

Every time we perform a routine blood test it is normal that we find different parameters and values ​​considered as basic, which are included in the results of the analysis on a regular basis, since they are elements that indicate to the doctor how he / she is in health the person, so that any level altered (above or below) can be an indication of the existence of any disorder or health problem, whether mild or serious.

Within these different basic parameters more common and usual we can find transaminases (liver parameters, which help to know if the liver is functioning correctly), bilirubin (which in high values ​​could cause jaundice and is also an indication of functioning of the liver and gallbladder) or creatinine (useful to know if the kidneys are functioning correctly).

But there are also parameters that help to know the levels of fats in blood, useful to know if there is a high volume (which would be a risk to health, to increase the chances of suffering a disease or cardiovascular accident), or if they are at optimal values. They are the figures of cholesterol and of triglycerides.

What is cholesterol?

The cholesterol It is a lipid (or sterol) that we find in different body tissues and also in blood plasma. We found it in high concentrations in the liver, pancreas, brain and spinal cord. It is a fundamental substance for the proper functioning of our body, since among other aspects, it is essential for the creation of plasma membranes that regulate the entry and exit of substances in cells.

What are triglycerides?

The triglycerides they become the main type of fat that is transported by the body in order to provide energy, or to be stored as fat when this energy is not used by our body. After eating the body digests fats from the food consumed, then releasing the triglycerides into the blood. As with cholesterol, it is a type of lipid that is essential for the body.

What are your main differences?

Fundamentally, we find differences between cholesterol and triglycerides in the different functions in which they participate actively. Of course, we found a common point: they are fundamental and essential for our organism. Here we discover some of their distinctions:

  • Cholesterol functions: precursor of the sex hormones of vitamin D and corticosteroidal hormones, fundamental for our cells to be part of cell membranes, and is a basic component of bile salts. In addition, we must differentiate between LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol.
  • Functions of triglycerides: it contributes energy, constituting itself as the main energy reserve of the organism, hence its excess is stored in large deposits. By forming a layer of fat under the skin, it protects our body from extreme changes in temperature. It is essential for the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K.

We also find distinctions in their values ​​considered normal:

  • Cholesterol values: less than 200 mg / dl (normal), 200-240 mg / dl (high limit), above 240 mg / dl (very high). In relation to LDL cholesterol, its normal values ​​are below 130 mg / dl, 130-160 mg / dl (high limit), above 160 mg / dl (very high). In relation to HDL cholesterol, its optimal values ​​are above 40 mg / dl (between 40 and 70 mg / dl), being low below 35 mg / dl.
  • Triglyceride values: their normal values ​​are between 40 to 160 mg / dl (in men) and 35 to 135 mg / dl (in women).

If you want to discover more about these and other values, I encourage you to read our useful article for Understanding a blood test.

Images | Ed Uthman / Neeta Lind This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist. ThemesCholesterol

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