Triglycerides are molecules found in vegetable and animal fats. When ingested, they circulate in the blood plasma until they are stored in the body as fat and are also formed in the body through the breakdown of carbohydrates. Triglycerides have been strongly linked to the occurrence of coronary artery disease or heart disease, as well as the occurrence of strokes and peripheral vascular disease. Being able to calculate triglyceride levels can help you know how to control your own.
Take your cholesterol levels and put them into the Friedman formula, except for VLDL:
LDL = total cholesterol - HDL - VLDL
Example: 105 = 210 - 51 - VLDL
Rearrange the Friedman Formula so you are calculating for VLDL:
VLDL = total cholesterol - HDL - LDL
Example: VLDL = 210 - 51 - 105
VLDL is equal to triglycerides divided by five, so substitute accordingly in the equation:
Triglycerides/5 = total cholesterol - HDL - LDL
Example: Triglycerides/5 = 210 - 51 - 105
Add together the total on the right.
Example: Triglycerides/5 = 54
Multiply the total on the right by five to get your triglyceride level
Example: Triglycerides = 270mg/dl
Compare your level to the chart provided in Tips.
Example: Triglyceride level 270mg/dl = too high
Discuss results with your health care professional.
- "Current Diagnosis & Treatment Cardiology - 3rd Ed."; Christian Zellner, MD; 2009