10 March 2009

Type 1 diabetes and hypertriglyceridemia

When uncontrolled type 1 diabetes takes hold, then insulin isn’t around to induce full activity of lipoprotein lipase, which is the enzyme that hydrolyzes triglycerides in chylomicrons and VLDL to produce fatty acids (1-2). The VLDL cholesterol becomes overproduced and then lipoproteins rich in triglycerides tend to produce hyperglyceridemia (1;3-4).

To diagnose the condition a lipid analysis can determine elevated triglyceride levels and increased VLDL cholesterol (5). Presence of chylomicrons would confirm the problem (5). And to make a definitive judgment, lipoprotein lipase or its co-factor apoliprotein CII can be tested for to see if there’s a deficiency, which could be genetic or due to a disorder (5).

Reference List

1. Nowak TJ, Handford AG. Pathophysiology: Concepts and Applications for Health Professionals. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2009.
3. WebMD. Hypertriglyceridemia. eMedicine. Available at: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/126568-overview
4. Habermann TM, Ghosh A. Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Concise Textbook. Mayo Clinic Scientific Press and Informa Healthcare, Inc, p 208.
5. WebMD. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/126568-diagnosis

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