T Nation

Cholesterol Too Low

I recently had my cholesterol checked and was pretty happy with the 118 I had, until I started reading about the dangers of low C. Turns out, I have a family history of strokes and aneurisms, which have been linked to low C. I’ve incorporated 2 whole eggs a day into my diet as well a lot of PUFA and MUFA (fish oil, olive, flax), but what else can I do to raise my cholesterol without eating lots of saturated fat? Any suggestions or personal accounts would be great, thanks!

This is a complicated issue as much of the standard advice which is good for most people because it makes them less likely to have a heart attack (i.e. a blood clot driven event) is problematic for you, because IF you do have an aneurysm, the same advice will make you more likely to have that aneurysm bleed! Suggestions: (1)Take supplements which may strengthen the arterial walls e.g. vitamin c, grape seed extract, and ginko biloba (there are probably others). A good multi (e.g. twinlab two daily without iron) and vitamin e is also important. (2) AVOID asprin (3) Do you have a family history of heart disease? If so, I would still emphasize e.g. EFAs (flax seed oil, salmon, sardines, etc) and mono-unsatures (e.g. olive and canola oils). PUFAs may actually be bad for you (and bad for many people because they become oxidized and/or use up antioxidants (they are linked to cancer and possible heart disease as well). Saturated fat may not be bad for you, (as long as your main sources of fats are mono-unsaturated and EFAs). (4) If you have high blood pressure keep it under VERY tight control.

I had the same problem. My Total cholesterol
tested from 120-130. Scotts recommendations
are good. But in addition to that, you might
just want to eat 2-3 egg yolks per day. This
solved the problem for me and raised my
hormone levels as a bonus. Eating the little
bit of saturated fat in eggs won’t hurt you,
especially if you balance it with omega 3s and
the other nutrients Scott suggests. From what
I’ve read, the ideal is probably to keep total
cholesterol in the 170-200 range - preferably
with at least equal amounts of HDL to LDL.
People make the mistake of thinking that
cholesterol is “bad” and that you should
always strive to keep it low. But cholesterol,
like most body systems, needs to be kept in
balance. Having it too high is unhealthy,
but having it too low is just as unhealthy.
The generic advice doesn’t take into
consideration individual needs and
variability, so feeding that advice to
everyone will be good for most people, but
disastrous for some.