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Can Vitamins Lower Triglycerides?

By Sylvie Tremblay, MSc ; Updated August 14, 2017

Triglycerides are among the most abundant types of fats in your body. Your body uses triglycerides to store excess energy in your fat tissue, and circulating triglycerides in your bloodstream serve as sources of fuel for your cells. However, high triglycerides can pose a health risk, and taking specific vitamins might help reduce your blood triglyceride levels. Elevated blood triglycerides require medical attention; never take vitamins to control your blood triglyceride levels without permission from a physician.

Risks of High Triglycerides

High levels of fat in your bloodstream can affect your risk of some cardiovascular diseases. Blood triglyceride lipoproteins can contribute to the formation of fatty deposits, called plaques, within your blood vessels. This can narrow -- and might eventually block -- your blood vessels, increasing your risk of atherosclerosis, stroke or heart attack. Regulating your diet by reducing your saturated fat intake, and taking specific vitamins, might help lower blood triglycerides to reduce your heart disease risk.

Niacin

One vitamin that can lower blood triglycerides is niacin, or vitamin B-3. One specific form of the vitamin, called nicotinic acid, can reduce blood triglycerides as well as blood cholesterol, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. As a result, taking nicotinic acid might reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases or help reduce your risk of dying from an existing cardiovascular illness. If you suffer from high triglycerides, talk to your doctor about taking pharmaceutical nicotinic acid. Do not take over-the-counter niacin supplements to treat high triglycerides.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Consuming omega-3 fatty acids -- essential polyunsaturated fats -- can also help lower blood triglycerides. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, consuming foods rich in fatty acids, including fatty fish and walnuts, can help lower blood triglycerides, as well as elevated blood cholesterol levels. In addition, the oil can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases that can develop due to high triglycerides. However, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements can have harmful side effects if taken in high doses. Consult your doctor before taking fish oil or other oil supplements.

Vitamin C and E

In some cases, individuals might develop high triglyceride levels as a side effect of drug treatment. Taking vitamin C and E together, under the supervision of a doctor, might benefit individuals suffering from high triglycerides due to taking the estrogen-blocking drug tamoxifen, according to NYU Langone Medical Center. While the vitamins might not directly lower blood triglycerides, they can reduce the side effects of tamoxifen, decreasing the risk of developing high triglycerides during cancer treatment. If you're receiving tamoxifen, talk to your physician about the possible benefits of vitamins E and C.

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