Beware the dangers of low cholesterol
cholesterol can be a warning that your heart is headed for trouble, but low
cholesterol can be a warning sign of disease too.
Research shows that people with low cholesterol are more likely to die
from cancer and respiratory and digestive diseases -- not diseases related
to clogged arteries. One study found that people with low cholesterol also
had low levels of antioxidants. Researchers believe low levels of
antioxidants can put your body at greater risk of free radicals, which can
damage cells and lead to disease.
Another study found that when elderly people have low cholesterol and low
levels of albumin, a blood protein, their risk of dying goes up
substantially. In the stud of over 900 healthy people in their 70s, those
with low albumin and low cholesterol levels were 3.6 times more likely to
die within a 3-year period compared to those with higher levels.
Low cholesterol levels may also contribute to poor mental health. A
recent study found that women with very low levels of cholesterol were more
likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. More than a third of the women
with low cholesterol scored high on tests designed to measure degrees of
depression. Only about one-fifth of the women n the study with higher levels
of cholesterol scored high on the depression scale.
These studies aren't suggesting that you should try to keep your
cholesterol levels high. High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart
disease. If your doctor says your cholesterol levels are too low, talk with
him about your diet and follow his advice.