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Plasma Triglycerides: How is it measured

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 05, 2011 at 3:22 AM

Hi everyone. Quick question that keeps bugging me:

I have been looking around for this quite a while but could not find a conclusive answer. My biochemistry textbook mentions the only way triglycerides get into the blood are via lipoproteins and chylomicrons.

When we run a blood panel and get a measure of triglycerides, are these free TAG in he blood or are these the TAG inside the lipoproteins?

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 25, 2012
at 06:10 PM

Con't: The entire cholesterol thing is SO WACKY. People being medicated out the wazoo without any consideration for what cholesterol *does* for us, or WHY it might be elevated.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 25, 2012
at 06:10 PM

Thanks for the link. Will watch it this weekend. It's a great question, though, and I suspect you're right - is there a way to measure the actual amount of TG? Probably not...just like they don't measure actual molecules of cholesterol. If we think of the lipoproteins as buses, and the actual cholesterol inside them as passengers, what lipid profiles measure are the # of *buses,* not passengers. (# of lipoprotein particles, not the cholesterol contained inside them.)

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2 Answers

1
5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 25, 2012
at 05:03 PM

I don't think there can be free triglycerides in the blood as they are not water soluble. They would coalesce. They have to be packaged up in lipoproteins to be transported in the blood.

I think that triglycerides in the blood are inside chylomicrons and VLDL. That must be what they are measuring.

That's just what I gathered from watching this excellent talk by Tracy Fulton of the UCSF Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics: Cholesterol and other Lipids in Your Blood.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 25, 2012
at 06:10 PM

Con't: The entire cholesterol thing is SO WACKY. People being medicated out the wazoo without any consideration for what cholesterol *does* for us, or WHY it might be elevated.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 25, 2012
at 06:10 PM

Thanks for the link. Will watch it this weekend. It's a great question, though, and I suspect you're right - is there a way to measure the actual amount of TG? Probably not...just like they don't measure actual molecules of cholesterol. If we think of the lipoproteins as buses, and the actual cholesterol inside them as passengers, what lipid profiles measure are the # of *buses,* not passengers. (# of lipoprotein particles, not the cholesterol contained inside them.)

0
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on December 09, 2011
at 04:21 AM

dont forget triglycerides are also transported by albumin. i supect the chylomicrons rub off on the serum albumin in a dymanic equalibrium. Serum trigs are the stated measurment that implies its mearuring all trigs bound and unbound.

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