T Nation

Very Low Cholosterol: Is it Good?


So yeah, like the title says. I have a total cholesterol of 120. I know that's really low, but it that bad low? Is there such a thing? What can I do to increase my good cholesterol?





on this topic, I'm giving a lecture on sat fat/chol and love your quote. I'd like to use it, if you wouldn't mind PMing me your last name and credentials, if you don't want to I understand. Just nice to have quotes like that from highly educated people.


When I get stressed or lack sleep for a while, my blood pressure, only the upper number becomes high. Normal runs close to 130/75-80. Stressed out is 140-145/80 and I'm only 24. My dad's heart was extremely enlarged and I believe died from a heart attack.


Sat fat (from beef, butter, lamb, chocolate) has been shown to increase HDL levels as well as taking fish oil

People who lose weight have been shown to lower their cholesterol (though cholesterol levels can change due to time of the year and stress, so who knows if weight loss was the reason or not), so perhaps the opposite is true? What's your height/weight?


I don't think so, but i think the cholesterol levels should be normal it shouldn't be of high levels because it can make your body fat and you are get overweight and that caused many diseases...


Cheers for that MODOK. What about too high? That's what my doctors are saying with me - and telling me to lay off the red meat!! But....Should I?

P.S. Sent you a PM on this, for help.


=) Pharmacist generally have the same opinion as MODOK. 2 bad GP-s still "demand" everyone to take statins who has just slightly elevated levels, not to mention, that they totally give no shit to HDL/LDL ratio.


red meat (ideally grass fed) increases HDL and LDLa (which is not bad), has no effect on LDLb which is the kind found in clogged arteries (but not due to cholesterol itself)

for men too low and too high cholesterol has been shown greater mortality risk, I want to say "high" is above 240 or so (I don't have my books in front of me), for women higher the better


I agree completely. I have read endless amounts of medical literature on the subject but still can't convince my father to come off lipitor. Every piece of evidence I put in front of him he won't read and just says "They're manipulating statistics" or "My Dr. knows more than them". I personally look for less "technical" presentations to show others because when you talk to someone about molecular pathways their eyes just gloss over and they stop listening. Here is a decent overview that doesn't get technical but does show a great graphic from the Framingham study. It's more about obesity but his talk on blood lipids is very good.


Modok- right on with those books, few other must reads Gary Taubes "Good Cals/Bad Cals" at least the Sat fat/chol section and also "The Great Cholesterol Con" and "Cereal Killers". Dr. Lundell has a great book on the matter as well from a heart surgeon's perspective.

Bones- in all fairness men with diagnosed HD have been shown to benefit (slightly) from statin use. Of course seeing as how they work, there are probably much safer ways to accomplish the same thing (fish oil, curcumin, etc)


I agree with you and you raise a good point. I just feel statins are too damaging and prescribed WAY to liberally. In my father's case his cholesterol wasn't alarming, his triglycerides were a little high. I feel he could've changed that with diet. Now he is having an increasingly difficult time with his short-term memory. It's difficult for me to see that and not get angry. I just see it leading down a road that doesn't end well.


I used to think that people with high cholesterol were typically fat and overweight. Not true. In my physiology lab, we had our cholesterol checked. Mine was 170 while weighing 250 lbs, my lab partner was 300 while being a 150 lb stick.

I agree that this whole topic could easily merit arrest warrants issued, I would not be surprised if a carb oriented lobby was behind the propaganda of the fat-cholesterol myth.


Looking at the history, it didn't start that way. But at a certain point (looks like the late 70s) the food manufacturers (once the hypothesis was starting to be accepted) jumped on board and started funding a lot of the research and anything that showed it not to be true was not published or people were fired (in one instance a Harvard professor). Other researchers started getting the hint so it was basically best for your job to go along with the hypothesis.

If you want a historical account read Good Cals, Bad Cals


How reliable is the cholesterol test when you donate blood? United blood services say my cholesterol is 115.


My father is also on Lipitor after getting a stent put in 6 years ago. Simmilar to your fathers case his cholesterol was not that high and could easily be improved with some fish oil and carefull diet IMO. I see that in the last 2 years he has developed a slight tremor and also his facial hair has gone from being a full beard to very weak and patchy. I think it is a poor drug and a huge money scam, however things could be much worse I guess, this is just the world we live in. Bring on stem cell technology!


This should pretty much put it another way with cholesterol and heart disease :wink:


Thanks for the reply. In fact I checked with my dad earlier and it turns out his cholestrol was in fact in the normal range prior to the lipitor use. Why on earth was he given lipitor?

His procedure 6 years ago was a relatively minor and less invasive one. I'm not quite sure what the intention of the lipitor is, I think it is supposedly to prevent the stent from getting blocked or something. What are the alternatives to lipitor?


Thankyou MODOk for your great insight, though terribly sorry to hear about your father's condition.

Unfortunately the typical scenario is man goes to doctor for cholesterol check, is given lipitor after "high" choesterol reading. Lipitor drives down the cholesterol which inhibits hormone production as well as cellular function. Man starts feeling bad and has lowered libido. Goes back to doctor. Doctor prescribes Paxil and Viagra, for depression and ED. Now patient is securely tied into the pharmecutical industry.

I agree with no statins but am curious that the life extension foundation recommends low doses for treatment of inflammation.

Just wish I could find a good doc who did not buy into the cholesterol myth


Oh and the cholesterol test does not even measure cholesterol. The equation is Total Cholesterol = HDL + LDL + triglycerides. HDL and LDL are not cholesterol but actually they transport cholesterol into and out of the liver. Triglycerides are not cholesterol but an indication of the level of simple carbs you consume. LDL is calculated, not directly measured. The number is meaningless. To actually measure LDL and the different size LDL particles, which is actually what matters, is supposedly expensive.


Even if I didn't find out a really good way to increase my good cholesterol, I learned a lot here. The take home point I got was don't take statins.

Any blood pressure lowering meds I should avoid with a passion?