Can Cholesterol Be Too Low?
The answer to that question is absolutely! Believe it or not I am seeing more clients in my office with cholesterol levels that are too low rather than too high. Most people have no idea that their cholesterol can be too low.
Cholesterol has been given a bad rap in today’s society. We’ve been told that high cholesterol “causes” heart disease. TV commercials warn us that “diet and exercise may not be enough,” and drugs are increasingly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. It’s important to realize that high or low cholesterol levels are a symptom of something else gone awry in the body. So to simply pop a pill that has numerous side-effects to lower cholesterol does much more harm than good. The result of the medication is that you now have a low cholesterol level but you feel lousy and are now at risk for some very serious health problems. Read on as I share research on the effects of having a low cholesterol level.
Why Cholesterol is Important to Health
Cholesterol belongs to a group of compounds called sterols. It is, by far, the most abundant sterol in the human body. We do get cholesterol from some of the foods we eat but most of the cholesterol in the body is manufactured in the liver. It’s interesting to note that every cell is capable of making this substance.
Cholesterol has many important functions in the body including:
1. The formation of cholic acid which is used to make bile salts. Bile salts are used to emulsify and digest fat.
2. The production of adrenal and reproductive hormones. Cholesterol is the basic building block for DHEA, pregnenolone, progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, aldosterone and cortisol.
3. Along with other lipids it helps to make the skin water tight and impervious to various substances that might otherwise penetrate the skin. It is also used in small amounts in all cell membranes.
4. Helps the immune system by binding toxins, reducing inflammation and protecting nerve and brain tissue from chemical damage.
Obviously, cholesterol is an important substance to the body, and necessary for our health.
Healthy Cholesterol Ranges
Although excess cholesterol in the blood isn’t good, excess cholesterol is not a cause of anything — it is a symptom that something is wrong with the body’s metabolism. The ranges that you see on the lab report are 100-199. These numbers are simply not correct due to the many studies that have been done showing that low cholesterol predisposes you to many health problems (see below). For optimal health, cholesterol levels should be between 208 and 242. Oddly enough, people are being encouraged to take statin drugs to reduce their cholesterol to unhealthy, low levels.
How do you determine the cause of high or even low cholesterol? The best way I know how to find the root cause along with evaluating a client’s diet, lifestyle and health history is Biochemical Blood Analysis, the in-depth process of evaluation that I use to look at blood work. It gives the answers to what is actually happening at the cellular level and can determine what will bring balance back to your biological terrain.
The Problems Associated with Low Cholesterol
The European Heart Journal published a three year study of 11,500 patients. This study showed that patients with low cholesterol experienced:
* Increases in lung cancer
* Increases in other cancers
* Higher risk of cardiac death
* Erectile dysfunction and infertility
* Loss of memory and mental focus
(Source European Heart Journal 1997, 18, 52-59)
A Swedish researcher found that:
* Individuals with low cholesterol suffer from frequent and severe infections
* Individuals with high cholesterol had a lower mortality than the average population
(Source: Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD. independent researcher Magle Stora Kyrkogata 9, S-223250 Lund, Sweden)
A study performed by the University of San Diego School of Medicine showed:
* High cholesterol can be protective against environmental toxins rather than harmful
* Low cholesterol is a risk factor for heart arrhythmia
* High cholesterol readings are associated with protection from neurotoxins and cancer protection
In a 30 year follow-up to the Framingham study which helped link cholesterol and heart disease in the first place, the Journal of American Medical Association reported:
* There is no correlation between high cholesterol and mortality, but correlation between low cholesterol and mortality
* Death rates from cardiovascular disease increased 14% for every 1 mg/dl drop in total cholesterol per year
(Source: Anderson KM. Cholesterol and Mortality, 30 years of Follow-up from the Framingham study. JAMA 1987 Apr 24;257 (16):2176-80)
The Journal of Cardiac Failure published a paper on low cholesterol. The study was an analysis of 1,134 patients with heart disease. The conclusions:
* Low cholesterol was associated with worse outcomes in heart failure patients and impaired survival rates
* Elevated cholesterol was not associated with hypertension, diabetes or coronary heart disease.
(Source: Horwich TB. Et.al. Low Serum Total Cholesterol is Associate with Marked Increase in Mortality in Advanced Heart Failure. J Card. Fail. 2002 Aug, 8 (4): 216-214)
A Japanese study found that death rates from coronary heart disease went down as cholesterol levels went up.
(Source: Okayama A., Marmot MG Int. J Epidemiology Dec 1993)
The following was reported in the journal of Arteriosclerosis:
* Despite successful attempts to lower cholesterol with statin drugs, the death rate from heart disease has not changed in 75 years and mortality from heart disease is more than double what it was in 1996.
(Source: Uri Goldbourt. Et al. Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease in Mortality. Arteriosclerosis. Vol 10, No. 4, July/August 1990)
Here’s another study of 11,500 patients. It showed that:
* The risk of death in the low cholesterol group (160mg/dl and below) was 2.27 times higher than those with high cholesterol.
* Most common cause of death in low cholesterol patients was cancer.
(Source: European Heart Journal (1997) 18,52-59)
From the bookThe French Paradox:
* High levels of the stress hormone cortisol along with high insulin levels creates the metabolic state that causes atherosclerotic plaque development.
(Source: The French Paradox by Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe 1978)
Low cholesterol and also been linked with depression, mood disorders, aggression and increased risk for suicide.
If this information is new to you I hope it has opened your eyes and triggered you to want to learn more and question the reason behind every medication you take. The body is always working to maintain balance and if we give it what it needs it can correct the imbalances. Address the root cause and health returns.
Facts About Statins:
* Are known carcinogens in experimental animals in doses approximate to those given to patients
* Increase risk of polyneuropathy fourteen times
* Deplete CoQ10 and lower antioxidant levels
* Can cause liver dysfunction
* Can cause muscle pain
* Are associated with memory loss, lack of concentration and global amnesia
* Have been known to cause insomnia, weakness and fatigue
* May cause erectile dysfunction
* Create difficulty in managing diabetes because they raise insulin levels
* Annual sales of statins — $27 billion
Emotions Related to Cholesterol
- Difficulty processing emotions
- Prone to emotional outbursts
- Holding emotions in
- Self-worth issues
- Buried anger
- Feeling stuck
Karol K. Truman, author of Feelings Buried Alive Never Die… states that the belief that “I’m not supposed to be happy” and also denying self joy are related to an imbalance in cholesterol.
And Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life says, in relation to cholesterol, that the channels of joy are clogged and there may be a fear of accepting joy. She offers the affirmations below to help shift these beliefs.
- I choose to love life
- My channels of joy are wide open
- It is safe to receive