Triglycerides: High Glycerol Phosphate Makes You Store Fat


December 8th, 2009 – We’ve all heard that carbs make you fat.  When we eat carbohydrates our bodies release insulin, a storage hormone that takes the sugars entering the blood stream and stuffs them into our cells.  What you may not have heard, however, is that on top of insulin, carbs have a unique ability to increase blood triglyceride levels and make us store it as fat.  This ability comes in the form of a simple molecule called glycerol phosphate.

The fat stored in our fat cells is made up of triglycerides.  Triglycerides are composed of three (tri) fatty acids bound to a single glycerol molecule. Glycerol phosphate is a key component in the process of binding free fatty acids together to form triglycerides, as it provides the glycerol backbone that the fatty acids bind to.

Glycerol phosphate is a byproduct of carbohydrate metabolism (by glycolysis).  The more glucose broken down for energy, the more glycerol phosphate we have available, and the more free fatty acids can be bound together to form triglycerides and stored as fat.  In fact, the rate at which the body assembles fatty acids into triglycerides largely depends on the availability of glycerol phosphate.  (1)

References –

1. Good Calories Bad Calories

Gary Taubes

Alfred A Knopf 2007 Pages 388-389

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