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Ask the Diva: Can Triglycerides Be Too Low?

Very low triglyceride levels can signal health problems. Nutrition Diva explains whether you should worry if your blood test comes back with low triglyceride levels.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
November 16, 2012

Ask the Diva: Can Triglycerides Be Too Low?

Q. The American Heart Association guidelines say that normal triglyceride levels are less than 150 mg/dL. My triglyceride level is 40 mg/dL. Is that too low? If so, how can I raise my levels in a healthy way?

A.  Very low triglyceride levels can signal problems. Diets that don’t contain enough fat, for example, can cause triglyceride levels to dip dangerously low. (See also: How Much Fat Should You Eat?) There are also some medical problems that can cause abnormally low triglycerides, such as an inability to absorb fats or hyperthyroidism. But a triglyceride level of 40 is considered perfectly normal—ideal, in fact! Although levels up to 150mg/dL are within the ‘normal’ range, the AHA recommends that we aim for triglyceride levels below 100. 

If your levels had been a concern, either on their own or in view of other test results or symptoms, I’m sure your doctor would have ordered follow up tests to rule out any other problems. And, of course, if you have any lingering worries, you should check in with her! But in and of itself, a triglyceride reading of 40 isn’t anything to worry about. It’s something to crow about!

Blood screening results photo from Shutterstock

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