5 Causes of Low Triglycerides

Having low triglycerides is quite an uncommon health condition and denotes an extremely low triglyceride level (less than 10 mg/dL).

Usually, people are diagnosed with high triglycerides, and that’s quite a common problem, not low triglycerides. If you really have low triglycerides, below you will find ways to increase them without much trouble. But first of all, let’s define them.

There are actually 5 causes of low triglyceride levels in the body described below:

  1. Hyperthyroidism
  2. Malnutrition
  3. Certain drugs
  4. Low-fat diet
  5. Malabsorption Syndrome

1. Hyperthyroidism

The thyroid gland is a brownish red small bowtie or butterfly-shaped gland and is considered one of the most important glands in our body.

It produces two important hormones named T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine).

Thyroxine is essential for normal growth. It stimulates and controls overall metabolism, increases oxygen consumption and heat production, and promotes protein synthesis.

The term hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis refers to a condition in which excess levels of thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) are present in the blood.

In other words, the thyroid gland is overactive. Hyperthyroidism has been seen as a cause of low triglycerides in some patients.

If you have a low triglyceride level, your healthcare professional will advise thyroid function tests to evaluate the levels of both T3 and T4 hormones.

2. Malnutrition

Any disorder that relates to insufficient intake of nutrients may come under malnutrition.

Chronic malnutrition will ultimately deplete your body of its fat and thus if you are suffering from malnutrition you may have low triglyceride levels.

How low the triglyceride levels are correlated with the degree, type, and duration of malnutrition.

Malnutrition has a large number of causes including various diseases, cancer, too much alcohol consumption, loss of memory, depression, poverty, tuberculosis, inability to eat food, social isolation, medications, sepsis, child abuse and neglect, trauma, and surgery.

3. Certain drugs

If you are using any of the drugs below, you may have low triglycerides, as these drugs decrease the triglyceride levels.

  • Nicotinic acid
  • Statins
  • Asparaginase
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Fenofibrate
  • Gemfibrozil
  • Clofibrate

Any drug used for lowering triglyceride or cholesterol levels will result in low triglyceride levels.

4. Low-Fat diet

Eating an extremely low-fat or no-fat diet is unhealthy and can be dangerous for your health.

Fats are not only a source of energy but also facilitate absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins, add flavor to our food, essential component of cell membranes, and also provide thermal insulation.

Low triglyceride levels may be seen in people on a no-fat diet to lose weight or just to get in shape. It is never recommended to completely eliminate fats from your food but avoid saturated and trans fats. These fats are found in foods of animal origin like meats.

Instead, consume unsaturated & polyunsaturated fats.

Overall if you are planning to reduce weight, you really need to consult your healthcare provider for a balanced diet plan.

5. Malabsorption Syndrome

Malabsorption entails difficulty digesting or absorbing nutrients from food. Many diseases and conditions are known to cause malabsorption of essential nutrients within the gastrointestinal tract including sugars, fats, proteins, or vitamins from food. People with malabsorption syndrome especially with fats may have low triglycerides.

Following are some other low triglyceride causes:

  • AIDS
  • Certain medications (e.g. certain antacids, antibiotics, or medications to lose weight)
  • Cancer
  • Certain types of surgery
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Cow’s milk protein or soy milk protein intolerance
  • After radiation therapy


Triglycerides are the chief form of stored fats and are the major source of energy. Your body needs these fats within normal ranges to provide energy.

Having low triglycerides is an uncommon health problem and it has been seen in patients dealing with hyperthyroidism, malnutrition, malabsorption syndrome, or due to the use of certain medications or a low-fat diet.

Go to all about lowering cholesterol homepage.

                                   Learn more about what are triglycerides