What are Total Fecal Triglycerides? High and low values | Lab results explained

Since most of the dietary fat is composed of triglycerides, excess fecal triglyceride levels indicate incomplete fat hydrolysis (maldigestion). This is possibly due to inadequate pancreatic secretion or activation of pancreatic lipase, which can cause excessive, unhydrolyzed triglycerides to be excreted in the feces.

When dietary fat dispersion and digestion proceeds normally, but fat malabsorption is present, fecal triglycerides become elevated. 

Such a finding has broad health implications due to the impaired delivery of essential fatty acids and all fat-soluble vitamins to sustain organ functions, including the epithelial lining of the gut and multiple layers of immune protection. On the other hand, if fecal triglycerides are normal but the feces contains excess long-chain free fatty acids, malabsorption in indicated. This is because long-chain free fatty acids are readily absorbed in the presence of a fully functioning intestinal mucosa. 


High levels of fecal fat are suggestive of maldigestion or malabsorption.

Consider cholagogues, betaine HCL, pancreatic enzyme supplementation to improve outcome. Phosphatidyl choline, serine and inositol can be considered when phospholipids are low.


Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you. 

The information on is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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