Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health are studying fats, or lipids, to learn more about normal and abnormal biology in the body. When you have your cholesterol checked, the doctor typically gives you levels of three fats found in the blood: LDL, HDL and triglycerides.
In human plasma alone, researchers have identified some 600 different types relevant to our health.
Many lipids are associated with diseases–diabetes, stroke, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer”s disease, to name a few. But our bodies also need a certain amount of fat to function, and we can”t make it from scratch. Triglycerides, cholesterol and other essential fatty acids–the scientific term for fats the body can”t make on its own–store energy, insulate us and protect our vital organs.