Originally published January 28 2009
Low Cholesterol Linked to Depression and Suicide
by Elizabeth Walling
(NaturalNews) The next time you stop in for your annual check-up with your doctor, chances are you'll be checking on your cholesterol levels. With fears spiked about having high cholesterol, even those in the low-risk categories are monitoring their levels religiously. After all, there's nothing like the merit badge of a low cholesterol reading. It's good enough to put a big, bright smile right across your faceā"or it may just drive you into depression. That's right. Those charmingly low numbers may be the cause behind depression, anxiety, violence and even suicide.
This is hardly an extremist idea fed by a few confused souls. Just take a look in the British Medical Journal published in September of 1996, where a French study looked at over 6,000 men. The study revealed that men with low cholesterol were three times more likely to commit suicide. A similar study at Payne Whitney Clinic in New York showed a similar result: when dividing men into four groups based on cholesterol levels, suicide risk doubled in the group with the lowest levels.
Equally as disturbing is the link between low cholesterol and violent, impulsive behavior. Dr. Vivian Mitropoulou and her colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York examined 42 patients with personality disorders. Low cholesterol was a strong indicator of irrationally aggressive behavior.
Just one of the many studies linking low cholesterol to deep depression came from Finland's National Public Health Institute, where a study of almost 30,000 people showed men with lower cholesterol readings were the most likely to suffer from crippling depression.
All of these disorders may be explained by low serotonin levels, which are often connected to violent and suicidal behavior. Dr. Beatrice Golomb from The University of California looked at studies linking low cholesterol to violence. She points out that studies which placed monkeys on a diet low in fat and cholesterol suffered from dramatically lower serotonin levels. These low-serotonin monkeys exhibited climbing aggression and violence.
Of course, these findings aren't enough to convince most doctors to overlook other evidence that points toward cholesterol causing health problems. After all, they need to keep writing prescriptions for those cholesterol-lowering drugs that draw in billions of dollars to the industry each year.
Aside from that, these findings are something to seriously consider if you've had a history of depression or violence and your cholesterol levels are running low. Your physician may claim these levels are good for your heart, but there's a chance they could be affecting your head.
Jaret, Peter. Can your cholesterol be too low? WebMD.com (2000)
About the authorElizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:
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