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What treatments are used to control triglycerides?

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Quick Answer

Triglyceride levels may be controlled by lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity, losing weight, eating less unhealthy fats and drinking less alcohol, according to WebMD. Additionally, for those with high triglyceride levels, a physician may prescribe a statin, fibrate, niacin or fish oil to reduce triglyceride levels.

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Full Answer

Exercise can have a big impact on triglyceride levels. Experts recommend 30 minutes of physical activity at least five times a week. Exercise helps with weight reduction, and maintaining an ideal body weight is critical to achieving healthy triglyceride levels. Simple dietary changes may significantly reduce triglyceride levels, states WebMD. These include consuming fewer calories, reducing one's intake of sugary foods and eating a lot of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.

Additionally, eating less meat, cheese, butter and other foods that are high in unhealthy fats may help. Research also suggests that eating more tuna, salmon and fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids reduces triglycerides. Finally, even small amounts of alcohol increase triglycerides, so alcohol should be restricted to one drink per day, according to WebMD.

For those with high triglycerides, a physician may prescribe a medication to reduce triglycerides. Statins are the standard drug to treat cholesterol and lower triglycerides, and are the only cholesterol medication proven to reduce the future risk for heart attacks and strokes. Fibrates and fish oil are commonly prescribed to reduce levels, as is niacin, which reduces triglycerides by up to 50 percent, says WebMD.

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