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What causes elevated VLDL and triglycerides?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 1109 Questions
I'm a 51 year old female who has been eating a mostly whole plant based diet for 1 year. I do not eat any packaged foods or foods with added sugar or refined flour, and try to add healthy fats each day from foods such as flax, avocado or chia seeds. I typically eat 9-11 servings of fruits and vegetables per day along with some whole grains and legumes and nuts. I just got a lipid panel done with the following results as compared to a year ago: HDL up 11 to 74 and LDL down 5 to 113, which is fine, except total cholesterol went up 20 points to 206. The VLDL is up by 14 to 19. Triglycerides up 24 to 98. I'm trying to understand why the triglycerides (and the VLDLs which I understand from this site are tied to them) went up considering the improved diet. Is it possible that because I had the blood draw towards the end of a bout with the flu that influenced it some how - either directly or due to being sedentary during the illness? Even with the healthy fats, could the fruit be adding to much simple sugar? Considering the total triglyceride level is still good as is the HDL to total cholesterol, is this anything to be concerned about?
Posted Tue, 25 Feb 2014 in Cholesterol
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Nothing to concerned about. It is quite normal. Detailed Answer: Hello, I have gone through your query and understand your concern. You have to understand that cholesterol and lipoproteins levels are always variable for up to 10 % every day to day or month to month. These are all due to the normal metabolism in our body. Now you are taking the correct diet and are also on the right pathway. Your Good cholesterol HDL is quite normal. and you have increased to 74. It looks you have taken care of your health very good. Your Triglyceride level is also normal and nothing to worry about this. You have Total cholesterol and LDL level is mildly increased. You do not have much concerned about this. Because we have seen 10 to 15 % variation with previous reports and is also normal. These are due to the normal metabolism and they are plenty. Some are day to day eating changes, seasonal variation, Hormones, Exercise and infections etc. As you recently infected with flu, this may be the cause for the fluctuation. But we cannot exactly this could be the cause. There are plenty of factors in addition to infection like sedentary during illness, Variations in food habits during illness, decreased physical activity etc. These are normal and your Lipid profile is quite with in controllable range. Do not get worry. Continue the diet and exercise regularly. Try relaxation techniques like Yoga and mediation. Hope this helps. Please write back for further queries. Wishing you good health.
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