For all the press about the dangers of high cholesterol, you’d think our cholesterol levels should be like a limbo stick – always getting lower. But this may be one contest you don’t want to win. In fact, it’s possible for your cholesterol to be too low.
Cholesterol is necessary. Actually, it’s found in both your bloodstream and each and every one of your cells. It’s a vital part of all kinds of things, ranging from brain functions to the production of Vitamin D, hormones, and cell membranes… Not exactly a mustache-twirling, cape-wearing villain!
So if your cholesterol levels get too low (which is rare but not impossible) risks of some health problems may go up, including cancer and – if you’re pregnant – preterm labor and low birth weight for the baby. Quite a few studies have linked low cholesterol levels to depression and anxiety in people who had not sought prior treatment for those issues.
“[I]f you’re not feeling depressed or anxious, there’s probably no need to worry that your low cholesterol levels will lead you in that direction,” writes Dr. Andrew Weil, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. He adds that increasing consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (through fatty fish like salmon or sardines) may be a good preventative measure.
Concerned about your cholesterol levels? Make a doctor appointment now!
Image: Cholesterol Free Zone, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from samantha tellumo’s photostream.