Note: Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Use home remedies just as an adjunct treatment.
Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in the blood. The body converts calories that it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides.
They are stored in the fat cells, which are circulated in the blood to provide energy for your muscles to work. Triglycerides are different from cholesterol, which the body needs for hormone synthesis and cellular structure.
An optimum amount of triglycerides is necessary for the proper functioning of cells, but too much is unhealthy.
An increase in triglycerides can be due to obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, poorly controlled diabetes, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), kidney disease, a high-calorie diet, cigarette smoking, excessive drinking, and genetic factors. Certain medicines, such as steroids and birth control pills, may also raise triglycerides.
A high triglyceride level is also a symptom of metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high fat deposits around the waist, a low high-density lipoprotein (HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol) level and high triglycerides.
High triglycerides usually do not cause symptoms. However, it can pose a risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes and cholesterol problems.
A simple blood test can determine whether your triglycerides fall into a healthy range.
Normal Triglyceride Level – Less than 150 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter)
Borderline High Triglyceride Level – 150 to 199 mg/dL
High Triglyceride Level– 200 to 499 mg/dL
Very High Triglyceride Level– 500 mg/dL and above
If you have high triglycerides, you can reduce your level with lifestyle changes, a proper diet and some simple home remedies. At the same time, you must continue to take any medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to reduce your triglycerides.
Garlic is one of the best remedies to reduce triglycerides. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that including garlic in your diet helps lower triglycerides, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Raw garlic has a more profound effect than boiled garlic in controlling these parameters because fresh garlic has lipid-lowering activity.
- Eat 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves on an empty stomach daily for a few months. You can also, include fresh garlic in your salad dressings.
- Alternatively, take garlic supplements after consulting your doctor.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar also helps reduce triglycerides as well as cholesterol levels. A 2008 study published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences found that apple cider vinegar helped improve serum lipid profile in normal as well as diabetic rats by decreasing triglycerides, low-density lipoproteins (LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol) and raising HDL levels.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.
- Mix in a little raw honey.
- Drink this solution twice daily for at least a couple of months.
You can also mix apple cider vinegar with fresh orange, apple, grape or other fruit juices.
3. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds are a popular traditional treatment for high triglycerides. According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Environmental Biology, there was a significant decrease in triglyceride and cholesterol levels in animals fed coriander seeds. This is due to the significant hypolipidemic action of coriander seeds on the metabolism of lipids.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of coriander seed powder to a cup of water.
- Boil the water, strain it and allow it to cool.
- Drink this solution once or twice daily for a few months.
4. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper, known for adding spicy flavoring to your foods, also helps lower triglycerides naturally. It contains an alkaloid compound, capsaicin, which helps reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in obese individuals.
- Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a cup of hot water. Drink it twice daily for a few weeks.
- Another option is to take cayenne supplements. Consult your doctor for the proper dosage and its suitability in your case.
Cinnamon may help lower your triglycerides. According to a 2003 study published in the journal Diabetes Care, cinnamon improves glucose and lipids in people with Type 2 diabetes. Intake of 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon daily helped people with Type 2 diabetes lower their triglycerides as well as LDL cholesterol.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon to your morning oatmeal. You can also sprinkle ground cinnamon in smoothies, soups and salads.
- Cinnamon is also available in capsule form at most drugstores and health food stores. Take the supplement after consulting your doctor.
6. Red Yeast Rice
In Chinese medicine, red yeast rice is a popular treatment to reduce triglycerides. It contains a group of naturally occurring statins and has a marked modulating effect on lipids and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations. This in turn helps lower triglycerides as well as high cholesterol levels.
Use red yeast rice as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor.
Note: Avoid red yeast rice during pregnancy, breastfeeding or when suffering from liver or kidney problems. Be cautious when taking red yeast rice products as some of them may contain lovastatin and other chemicals that may cause side effects.
7. Reishi Mushroom
Reishi mushroom is beneficial to the cardiovascular system due to its high content of heart-saving substances like sterols, ganoderic acids, coumarin, mannitol and polysaccharides.
The ganoderic acids in reishi mushroom help lower triglyceride levels, remove excess cholesterol from the blood, lower blood pressure, reduce platelet stickiness and even help correct arrhythmias.
For lowering triglycerides, you can take reishi mushroom extract. The appropriate dose depends on factors like age and current health conditions, so consult your doctor first.
8. Increase Fiber Intake
Fiber helps regulate how the food you eat is absorbed and passed through your body, and high-fiber foods can significantly lower both your triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber help lower triglycerides. Soluble fiber binds the excess triglycerides like a gel, so that it can get out of the body easily.
It also reduces and slows down the absorption of fats and sugars. Insoluble fiber helps control hunger pangs and increases the absorption of nutrients from your food. This helps with weight loss.
- Eat foods high in soluble fiber like oatmeal, bananas, peas and strawberries.
- Eat foods high in insoluble fiber like whole grains, whole-wheat products, beans, greens and many vegetables.
If you are just starting to eat fiber-rich foods, increase your fiber intake gradually to avoid gas discomfort. At the same time, increase your water intake to help process the fiber and avoid constipation.
9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Studies suggests that omega-3 fatty acids help reduce triglycerides by reducing very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) production by the liver, accelerating chylomicron and VLDL elimination from the blood and converting fatty acids to energy (oxidation).
- Dietary sources of omega-3 fats are salmon, mackerel, cod, walnuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oil and soybean oil.
- You can also take a supplement. Consult a doctor for the correct dosage and how long to take the supplement.
10. Exercise Regularly
Physical activity may play a key role in reducing your triglyceride level, depending on your level and individual risk factors. Being active will help you lose weight, which helps decrease your triglycerides. Moreover, it helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
A 2013 study published by the Journal of Applied Physiology states that acute high-intensity endurance exercise is more effective than moderate-intensity exercise for attenuation of postprandial triglyceride elevation. Hence, include high-intensity endurance exercises in your daily routine to reduce high triglycerides.
Consult your doctor about the type of exercises that you can do given your particular condition.
- If you are overweight, losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight will help reduce your triglyceride level.
- Cut your sugar intake by avoiding sodas and other sugary beverages.
- Limit fructose by avoiding corn syrup and dried fruits, such as raisins and dates.
- Follow a moderately low-fat diet.
- Replace your regular dairy products with low-fat products.
- Cut back on saturated fats found in red meat, poultry, butter, cheese, milk, and coconut and palm oils.
- Use healthy polyunsaturated fats like safflower, corn and soybean oil.
- Use healthy monounsaturated fats like canola and olive oil.
- Stop drinking alcoholic beverages.
- Avoid refined and processed foods that can cause a sudden rise in your body’s insulin, which can lead to a spike in triglycerides.