How Low is Too Low?
Julian Whitaker, MD
With the incessant push for lower and lower cholesterol levels, you have to wonder when enough is enough. Is there a risk associated with very low cholesterol?
A growing pool of research suggests that there is. Depression, anxiety, suicide attempts, and violent behavior have all been linked to low cholesterol levels. In a Duke study of 121 young, healthy adult women, researchers concluded, “Low lipid and lipoprotein concentrations are inversely associated with trait measures of depression and anxiety.” Another study conducted by Korean researchers found that among patients with major depression, those with low cholesterol levels were more likely to attempt suicide.
Now, these observational studies are not definitive, and the reasons behind these findings are uncertain—some researchers suggest that low cholesterol levels may translate into decreased numbers of serotonin receptors in the brain. However, I am concerned about the ultra-low cholesterol levels associated with aggressive use of statin drugs. The last thing we need is even more serious problems caused by these drugs.
- If your total cholesterol dips below 160 and you’ve achieved this level with a drug, talk to your doctor about lightening up on your medication—or getting off it altogether and trying safe, natural therapies.
- For more information on our natural protocols for treating high cholesterol, call (866) 944-8253.
Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Copyright 2004. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healing, click here.