If your total cholesterol level is too low, you’re at increased risk for anxiety, depression, and even suicide, as well as increased risk of strokes, cancer, digestive diseases and respiratory diseases.
A study by Suarez in 1999 in Psychosomatic Medicine found a relationship between low cholesterol and increased anxiety and depression in women. And in a 2008 paper in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry it was reported that when total cholesterol is less than 160 mg/dl (milligrams per decililter), there may be an increased risk of suicide.
An interesting 1992 editorial in the journal Circulation reported that these same levels were also associated with increased risk of death from strokes, cancer, and digestive and respiratory diseases. In addition, this editoral emphasizes that, among women, there is no association between high blood cholesterol and cardiovascular deaths.
Dr Mark Hyman, MD is one of my favorite integrative physicians and he writes extensively on cholesterol and why it may not be the cause of heart disease. He talks about the importance of ratios (total cholesterol to HDL and triglycerides to HDL) and considering additional testing if you’re concerned about heart disease: NMR Lipid Profile to look at particle sizes, Hemoglobin A1c, Cardio C-reactive protein for inflammation, Homocysteine, Fibrinogen, Lipoprotein (a) and others.
Low total cholesterol is a topic that I address in The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings, available in major books stores, at Amazon and via www.antianxietyfoodsolution.com. It is just one of many factors that need to be considered for anxiety and mood issues.