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Low cholesterol.

  1. Aug 2, 2004 #1
    If the "bad cholesterol" is very low, almost the half of the minimun for a given person it's still healthy?...I know that people says that the lower the bad cholesterol the better, but if there is a given range, I mean a maximun and a MINIMU it's healthy to have it lower than that?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2004 #2
    Well generally the range you want to be in is 2:1 for good cholesterol to bad cholesterol; but even low amounts of the bad stuff can be damaging, as its still a useful chemical. Your lab reports when you have basic blood work done will give the normal range, if you're well out of the range, it's too low.
  4. Aug 5, 2004 #3
    well, my report says that the normal range is 103-130 and I have 58 :confused: I was asking because I have never heard of someone with low cholesterol... I have always thought that you can have it high ...but low?... and why?...I eat... I'm not a dieter :confused:
  5. Aug 7, 2004 #4
    You can indeed have it too low, since cholesterol is involved with 5-HT metabolic pathways, low cholesterol is linked to depression. Also, it's linked to stroke through another pathway.
    Most importantly, it's a precursor for many steroid hormones. You definately want to get the levels up to the normal range.
  6. Aug 8, 2004 #5
    Thanks fafalone
    your right...look what I found.

    Low Cholesterol and Suicide Risk
    Canadian investigators examined the relation between low serum total cholesterol and deaths from suicide. Adjusting for age and sex, they found that those in the lowest quarter of total cholesterol concentration had more than six times the risk of committing suicide as did those in the highest quarter.
    This effect persisted after the exclusion from the analysis of the first 5 years of follow-up and after the removal of those who were unemployed or who had been treated for depression.
    These data indicate that low serum total cholesterol level is associated with an increased risk of suicide.
    Epidemiology 2001 Mar;12:168-72

    As I said in the December 2000 issue:
    With so many people taking drugs to lower their cholesterol and half the population predicted to take statin drugs in the future, it is time that we seriously reevaluated what we are doing with them. Just like our weight, there is an optimum with cholesterol as well. Some people believe that the lower your cholesterol, the healthier you are.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. If your cholesterol is too low you will have an increased risk of mood disorders, depression, stroke, and violence. And these are only the KNOWN effects right now.

    ...well I guess this is good to know :eek:

    are you italian?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2004
  7. Aug 8, 2004 #6
    I'd be interested to see if the depression link exists in groups taking SRIs.. sounds like a good idea for a dissertation.

    Half italian... I assume that question is based on my name, which i don't think exists in the most common form of italian, but it does in mufataise (sp?), a sub-dialect of Barese (sp?) spoken in Mufat (where my maternal grandfather was from), which is near Bari
  8. Aug 8, 2004 #7
    Yeap...I asked because of your name. I have never heard it, in fact I was thinking it was a nickname invented by you but it sound italian. I have a minor in foreign languages (first language-Italian) and lived in lombardia for 6 months, I loved it.
  9. Aug 13, 2004 #8
    Do you have the other parameters inside normal limits? Is the level of triglycerides normal? Are Apo-A and Apo-B levels normal?
    Did you have any gut problem?
    Do your parents and brothers / sisters similar levels of LDL-cholesterol?
    I think that these questions can aid to understand better your low level of bad-cholesterol.
  10. Aug 13, 2004 #9
    I will tell you what other things I don't have in normal values...I don't know exactly what they are but I know that they all are related with anemia. My father, my sister, my cousins my nephews and myself have always been anemic.

    I searched in internet causes of low cholesterol and I found that people with thallasemia (a kind of anemia) usually have low cholesterol and in fact my father once was examined because his doctor thought he can have thalasemia but it turn out to be negative. My sister once also had an extremely low level of LDL.

    Well these are the values:

    MCH- LOW
    RDW-High...I think this is related with the normal values for the size of red
    cells. My father and I have the red cell "deformed"...well at least
    that said a doctor when I was still a baby and I spend a lot of
    time in the hospital with a condition that they never found what
    was... they even check me for Leukemia...but they did a
    lot of tests and that was one of the things that they found.
  11. Aug 13, 2004 #10
    Yes. Thallasemia is associated to low levels of both HDL and LDL-cholesterol. Nevertheless, from your information, I think that your diagnosis isn't yet definitive. The diagnostic of thallasemia is easy. I believe that it's important to make a definitive diagnosis. If it were confirmed that you have thallasemia, this condition should be treated. Then, it would be useful to analyze the oxidized forms of LDL. Nevertheless, I would be more worry about anemia than about these low levels of cholesterol.
  12. Aug 13, 2004 #11


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    I'll pre-empt this with the disclaimer I'm not a physician, so don't take my word on this as medical advice.

    From the description of low hematocrit and hemoglobin, as well as a number of other factors, I'd think it would be important to first rule out any bleeding as a cause. For example, any reason to believe you have a bleeding ulcer somewhere? I would hope that would have been something a Dr would have ruled out quickly, because that would be a very serious thing if it was causing anemia.

    Next, diet comes to mind. People are so overly concerned with keeping cholesterol low that you may have wound up cutting out too much from your diet. If your body isn't making cholesterol from other precursors, you can get it from animal fats. Anemia can also be caused by insufficient iron in the diet. It may be that you really do need some more red meat in your diet. But, I don't know what your diet is like. If you already should be consuming enough of that, then it may be a problem with absorbing it and getting it to the right places, or getting the right combination of nutrients to aid in absorption. For the anemia, vitamin C is also helpful for absorbing iron, so if you try a supplement, take one that has both Vit C and iron in it.

    If it's not diet, then it's time to look into metabolic problems or other disorders. It seems a number of things are abnormally low right now, so focusing on just one symptom rather than the constellation of symptoms could too readily lead to missing the real problem.

    Here are abstracts from three articles that discuss different studies where anemia and low cholesterol were both present in patients with different causes. In one, it seems to be a problem with absorption of nutrients due to celiac disease. In another, it was attributed to a vegetarian diet that wasn't carefully balanced (this can be achieved, and the study is old...I think vegetarians nowadays are more aware of this concern). The third suggests iron-deficiency anemia may itself lead to the low cholesterol. From all three, the inference I gather is that the first thing to address is the anemia.

    Am J Gastroenterol. 1999 Jul;94(7):1888-91.
    Low plasma cholesterol: a correlate of nondiagnosed celiac disease in adults with hypochromic anemia.
    Ciacci C, Cirillo M, Giorgetti G, Alfinito F, Franchi A, Mazzetti di Pietralata M, Mazzacca G.
    Unit of Gastroenterology, Federico II University, Naples, Italy.

    OBJECTIVE: Hypochromic anemia is at times attributable to nondiagnosed celiac disease. The aim of this study was to define the correlates of celiac disease in anemic adults without overt malabsorption. METHODS: One hundred patients with hypochromic anemia and without diarrhea underwent a complete diagnostic work-up, including screening for celiac disease, i.e., upper endoscopy with duodenal biopsy and search of antiendomysium antibodies. RESULTS: Patients with hypochromic anemia were from two different Divisions and were analyzed as a single group because they were not significantly different for any variable. Hypochromic anemia was attributable to celiac disease in 10 patients. Compared to anemic patients without celiac disease, anemic patients with celiac disease had significant or borderline significant differences for plasma cholesterol (-17.9%), albumin (-9.4%), and body mass index (-11.8%), but not for gender distribution, age, weight, height, blood hemoglobin, mean corpuscolar volume, plasma iron, and ferritin. All anemic patients with celiac disease had plasma cholesterol < 156 mg/100 ml. Within the entire cohort of anemic patients, plasma cholesterol inversely related to prevalence of celiac disease (p < 0.001); also plasma albumin and body mass index inversely related to celiac disease, but coefficients were borderline significant (p = 0.056 and 0.052, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that among patients with hypochromic anemia, plasma cholesterol in the high-to-normal range could be used to exclude the presence of celiac disease. Other nutritional markers are less sensitive as indices of risk of celiac disease. Hematological indices are not of help to define the risk of celiac disease in anemic patients without signs of malabsorption.

    PMID: 10406254 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Am J Clin Nutr. 1982 Feb;35(2):204-16.
    Nutritional status of vegetarian children.
    Dwyer JT, Dietz WH Jr, Andrews EM, Suskind RM.

    Thirty-nine preschool children consuming different types of vegetarian diets were studied. Type and amount of carbohydrate, fat, protein, and amount of sodium and cholesterol provided by their diets were more like intakes suggested in the proposed Dietary Goals for the United States than to levels in usual diets of nonvegetarian children. Macrobiotic vegetarian children consumed less animal food than did other vegetarian children. The mean intake of vitamin D of macrobiotics was an eighth of the Recommended Dietary Allowance and mean serum alkaline phosphatase values were elevated. The mean intake of vitamin B12 levels were normal. Vegan macrobiotic children had the lowest intakes of vitamins B12 and D. Other vegetarians' mean intakes of these vitamins met the Recommended Dietary Allowance. Mean iron intakes of the vegetarians approximated the Recommended Dietary Allowance. Hematological indices were suggestive of mild iron deficiency anemia in a quarter of subjects. Serum cholesterol values were low for the group. Physical measurements were within normal limits and macrobiotic vegetarians were not smaller or leaner than other vegetarian children. The nutritional difficulties discovered could be corrected by careful planning of vegetarian children's diets while preserving the beneficial qualities of the diet in other respects.

    PMID: 7064883 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Pediatr Int. 1999 Apr;41(2):168-73.

    Serum lipid and lipoprotein profile in children with iron deficiency anemia.

    Ece A, Yigitoglu MR, Vurgun N, Guven H, Iscan A.

    Department of Pediatrics, Celal Bayar University, Medical Faculty, Turkey. a_ece@hotmail.com

    BACKGROUND: A close association has been found between serum lipoprotein abnormalities and the risk of atherosclerosis. In adults, high stored body iron, high serum iron concentrations and low iron binding capacity were found to be risk factors for coronary heart disease. Iron-deficient diets have caused contradictory lipid changes in rats. This report investigates the relationships between iron deficiency, macronutrient intake and the serum lipid and lipoprotein profiles in children with iron deficiency anemia (IDA). METHODS AND RESULTS: Fifty-six children with IDA, aged 3.0 +/- 1.3 years and 60 healthy age- and sex-matched controls were evaluated. The mean total cholesterol (TC) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), lipoprotein (a) levels and LDL-C/high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and TC/HDL-C ratios of the IDA group were significantly lower than those of controls. While there were no differences in triglycerides and apolipoprotein B (apoB) values between patients and controls, apolipoprotein A-1 (apoA-1) and HDL-C levels were higher in the IDA group. Dietary energy, carbohydrates, total fat and protein intakes of the IDA group were lower than those of controls. After oral iron supplementation, the lipoprotein profile of patients with IDA became similar to controls. In the multivariate analysis, while energy was taken as a covariate, there was no difference in the lipid profile of patients and controls. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with IDA are also deficient in macronutrients. The low atherogenic serum lipid profile of IDA is not a direct result of iron deficiency itself, but related to decreased energy and protein intakes.

    PMID: 10221021 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2004
  13. Aug 14, 2004 #12
    It is obvious. If you have anemia, the first thing to do is diagnosis. Then treatment.
    After, it could be interesting to see the relationship with cholesterol. only after. The first is the first. Anemia must be treated. Then it may be interesting to see about associations between a particular type of anemia and low cholesterol.
    Consult your physician!!
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