Triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in the blood. They are the most common type of fat and are a major source of energy.

When a person eats, his or her body uses the calories it needs for quick energy. It converts excess calories into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells to use later. In normal amounts, triglycerides are very important to good health. But having high triglyceride levels may increase a person's risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD). Very high triglycerides may lead to pancreatitis in certain people.

Triglyceride levels are categorized as follows:

  • Below 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered normal.
  • 150 to 199 is borderline-high.
  • 200 to 499 is high.
  • 500 or higher is very high.

Last Updated: July 11, 2008

Author: Robin Parks, MS

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology

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