Mastering Triglyceride Management

Mastering Triglyceride Management
Mastering Triglyceride Management


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Announcer: 0:00

Welcome to the MedEvidence Monday Minute Radio Show hosted by Kevin Geddings of WSOS St. Augustine Radio and powered ENCORE Research Group. Each Monday morning, Dr. Michael Koren calls in to bring you the latest medical updates with insightful discussions. MedEvidence is where we help you navigate the real truth behind medical research, with both a clinical and research perspective. So sit back, relax and get ready to learn about the truth behind the data in medicine and healthcare. This is MedEvidence.

Kevin Geddings: 0:32

Dr. Michael Koren is here with us, of course. He is a medical doctor, he's also a cardiologist, research scientist and he heads up the show ENCORE Research Group. ENCORE does leading-edge clinical research that you can participate in, and they do it well, from places all over Northeast Florida, including their offices really close to Flagler Hospital here in St. Augustine.

Kevin Geddings: 0:52

And today we're going to talk about triglycerides. That's a line we always see on our little lab reports from LabCorp or Quest or wherever. Why should we care about? Well, I guess I should back up and say what are they? And then why should we care about them, doctor?

Dr. Michael Koren: 1:07

Yeah well, we should definitely care about them. But to your point, we talk about them less than we talk about cholesterol, for reasons I'll explain in a second. But to start, triglycerides are blood fat. They're actually a fat in other parts of our body. But when you get your lab tests it's measuring the triglycerides in your blood. And if you remember back in your old chemistry days, college biology or chemistry, triglycerides are a relatively simple molecule that has a three-carbon backbone and then it's connected to these fatty acids and these fatty acids are a store of energy. So at a very fundamental level, triglycerides are a store of energy for our bodies. So when you get your lab test, you're looking at a number of different blood fats.

Dr. Michael Koren: 1:56

Cholesterol, as we know, comes in different flavors either low-density lipoprotein or LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, which is a favorable, good cholesterol particle.

Dr. Michael Koren: 2:07

And then you get that triglyceride number and typically that triglyceride number should be below 100 if everything is going well.

Dr. Michael Koren: 2:15

If it's below 150, your doctor probably won't make much of a fuss about it. But if it gets above 400, in particular if it gets above 1,000, then it becomes actually a very serious medical issue, not so much for your heart, but because it also can cause a problem with your pancreas and cause a condition called pancreatitis. But in that sort of moderate elevation level it's actually a very good reminder about your risk about heart disease. And triglycerides are again this store of energy, and if your body is struggling to store the energy as well as it should, you'll find that you'll have this pattern of low HDL and high triglycerides, which means that you're at a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke or inflammation in the bloodstream that leads to atherosclerosis. So triglycerides are an interesting thing in that it's not the type of thing where you go in. It's high, your doctor gives you statins and it gets better. It's more of a dynamic process that creates more of a discussion and actually more of an education.

Kevin Geddings: 3:21

Well, and if we have an issue with triglycerides, there is a way for our listeners to participate in some research, and they could benefit from participating in this research in a variety of ways. Right, Dr. Koren?

Dr. Michael Koren: 3:33

Yeah, it's true. I will say, though, that the first thing that you can do with triglycerides is to change your lifestyle. So we know that triglyceride elevation is related to eating a lot of carbohydrates, it's related to excessive alcohol intake, it's related to less than a stellar diet let's just put it that way and exercise is also going to help lower triglycerides. So triglycerides actually respond more to lifestyle than cholesterol. A lot of people have high cholesterol. They exercise, they eat well, but they still have high cholesterol because of their genetic makeup, whereas triglycerides tend to respond more to lifestyle.

Dr. Michael Koren: 4:11

But, having said that, there's certain people that are predisposed to having high triglycerides. So if you're a person that has high triglycerides let's say, triglycerides above 150, despite the fact that you diet and you're physically active, then we may be able to help you through a clinical trial, and, of course, there are drugs out there on the market that help lower triglycerides, but none of them are as good as the drugs that we have to lower LDL cholesterol, which we can now lower by 80 or 90 percent using a proper combination of drugs. So we are doing work in the triglyceride space, and if people are interested in learning more about their triglyceride situation, give us a call and we'll see if you're a good candidate for some of the things that we're doing.

Kevin Geddings: 4:50

And Dr. Koren folks who participate in this triglyceride study. They may get to spend the night. They may also receive some significant compensation as well, correct?

Dr. Michael Koren: 5:01

Yeah, we don't like to advertise that because we want people to do it, mostly to learn more to have better long-term health. But it is true that if you do spend the night with us, we will compensate you for your time, and it's not insignificant. So that is a motivation for some people, I understand, but my primary goal is to get people to learn about their triglycerides, learn about what we do and hopefully get some benefit from one of our programs.

Kevin Geddings: 5:26

Yeah well, information about triglycerides and just cholesterol in general and heart health overall, along with all sorts of other health-related topics and research topics, can be found too at the website Before we let Dr. Koren go, I wanted to let him talk a little bit about that as well.

Dr. Michael Koren: 5:42

Sure, MedEvidence is our platform to get to the truth behind the data. And, oh my God, do we need truth right? Over the holiday weekend I spent a little time just catching up on the news, and whatever you Google these days or search these days, you will find such divergent opinions that are just driven by philosophy or what people are trying to sell in the healthcare space and in other spaces, and we really need a space where you can get objective information.

Dr. Michael Koren: 6:12

You can hear experts discussing things in a very credible way, by telling people what we know about something, what we don't know about something and how we need to learn about the stuff that we don't know. So I'm actually feeling proud these days that we have this MedEvidence platform, where we get to the truth behind the data. We talk about things objectively, we talk about things so that people can make decisions about their health and we try to be entertaining so we have fun while we're doing it. So check it out

Kevin Geddings: 6:42

Yeah, it's a great website to check out. And if you have any questions too, about the triglyceride study or all the other ongoing studies that you could potentially participate in right here in St. Augustine, go to ENCOREdocs. com. Or you can go old school and call them. Yeah, use a telephone. Talk to a live human being. There's an idea. 904-730-0166. Dr. Koren, we hope you stay nice and cool today.

Kevin Geddings: 7:19

It's going to feel like 109 degrees this afternoon.

Dr. Michael Koren: 7:22

Oh my goodness. Well, wear your sunscreen, Kevin.

Kevin Geddings: 7:23

All right, we'll do it. Thank you, Dr. Koren.

Dr. Michael Koren: 7:26

Take care Bye-bye.

Announcer: 7:29

Thanks for joining the MedEvidence podcast. To learn more, head over to or subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

Ever wondered why triglycerides don't get the same spotlight as cholesterol in health discussions? On the MedEvidence Monday Minute Radio Show, Dr. Michael Koren breaks down the science behind triglycerides while offering practical, actionable advice on managing triglyceride levels through lifestyle changes. Unlike cholesterol, triglycerides are more responsive to diet and exercise, making them a key target for intervention. Discover how reducing carbohydrate intake, limiting alcohol, and maintaining a balanced diet can make a significant impact. Plus, find out about the exciting opportunities in clinical research for those predisposed to high triglycerides. Tune in for an engaging and informative discussion that could make a meaningful difference to your heart health.

Be a part of advancing science by participating in clinical research.

Recording Date: July 8, 2024
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