So, what is cholesterol and why do we have it in the body? I find that this question often brings about a moment of silence in the presence of most traditional practitioners. This soft, waxy substance is found not only in your bloodstream, but also in every cell in your body where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that help you digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function.
A few interesting studies about low cholesterol and the effect it can have on our bodies are listed below:
- A study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that men with low total cholesterol were 7 times more likely to die prematurely from unnatural causes, like suicide.
- A 1993 study published by The Lancet found that depression was 3 times more likely in men over 70 with low cholesterol
- A Swedish study found that women with the lowest cholesterol suffered significantly more depressive symptoms than other women.
- A study in the journal, Neurology, showed that low cholesterol is associated with increased risk of dementia.
- A paper published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine linked low cholesterol levels with Alzheimer’s disease.
Cholesterol has been vilified over the last few decades as the primary reason behind heart attacks and arterial disease. The general public has been lectured to by doctors, dietitians, diet companies and main stream medicine to avoid fat and cholesterol like the plague. In addition, anyone with a cholesterol level of 200 is staunchly told they must take a statin.
Could it be that the epidemic rise in health issues like Alzheimers, Dementia, Depression and Anxiety are linked to our efforts to keep cholesterol as low as possible? How about low Testosterone and low Vitamin D levels?
And with all this effort and attention on reducing cholesterol, you would think there should be a clear link between reducing cholesterol and reducing our heart attack risk; but in actuality, there isn’t…50% of all patients who suffer heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels!