Low Total Cholesterol

Low Total Cholesterol: Overview

Doctors have long warned about the health hazards of high cholesterol but a growing body of evidence indicates that very low cholesterol can be dangerous too.  Low cholesterol levels have been associated with depression, anxiety, violent behavior, suicide and hemorrhagic stroke.

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Treatment and Prevention

Fat absorption requires the presence of bile as an emulsifier.  Both a very low fat diet and poor bile flow can work to keep cholesterol levels lower than they should be.  Thinning the bile can help raise low cholesterol levels.


A study of 121 healthy young women found that those with low cholesterol levels – below 160mg/dl – were more likely to score high on measures of depression and anxiety than women with normal or high cholesterol levels.  Normal cholesterol levels are considered to fall within the range of 180mg/dl to 200mg/dl.  There is now a compelling body of evidence in both men and women that low cholesterol is a potential predictor for depression and anxiety in certain individuals. [Psychosomatic Medicine, May 1999]

Data from more than 300 peer-reviewed medical reports showed that men with blood cholesterol levels below 160mg/dl tended to be the victims of homicide, suicide or fatal accidents 50-80% more often than those with the highest levels of cholesterol.  The statistics for women showed a similar increase of 30%.  The author of the review said that there may be a possible link between low cholesterol and a reduction in the brain chemical serotonin.  Individuals with low serotonin levels are known to be more likely to commit suicide, especially by violent means, as well as homicide.

Conditions that suggest Low Total Cholesterol:



Researchers have found that as cholesterol levels drop, the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (accounting for 20% of strokes) increased significantly.  A person with a cholesterol level below 180mg/dl had twice the risk of that type of stroke when compared with someone at a level of 230mg/dl.


Low Pregnenolone Level

Pregnenolone is made in the body from cholesterol.

Low DHEA Level

Pregnenolone is made from cholesterol in the body.  A number of hormones, including DHEA, are synthesized from pregnenolone.

Estrogens Low

Pregnenolone is made from cholesterol in the body.  A number of hormones, including estrogen, are synthesized from pregnenolone.

Risk factors for Low Total Cholesterol:

Lab Values - Chemistries

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Low Total Cholesterol can lead to:


Progesterone Low or Estrogen Dominance

Cholesterol is the raw material used to make progesterone, and is therefore a precursor.

Recommendations for Low Total Cholesterol:

Amino Acid / Protein


Taurine and beet concentrate are very effective at thinning the bile in the gallbladder.


Liver/Gall Bladder Flush

The liver/gallbladder flush helps to remove thickened bile by mobilizing it.


Laboratory Testing

Test for Hormones

A chronically low serum cholesterol level can be an unsuspected problem.  Since cholesterol is the precursor to the adrenal and sex steroids, low levels may mean an insufficient supply of raw material for hormone production.  When there are indications of hormone insufficiency, appropriate lab testing should be conducted.

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Weak or unproven link: may suggest
Weak or unproven link:
may suggest
Strong or generally accepted link: often suggests; often leads to
Strong or generally accepted link:
often suggests; often leads to
Definite or direct link: increases risk of
Definite or direct link:
increases risk of
May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Moderately useful: often helps with
Moderately useful:
often helps with
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