We don’t often think about the effects of low cholesterol since the subject of conversation is often the negative cardiovascular effects of high cholesterol. But cholesterol is not as bad as it’s reputation portrays. It is essential to life and is the “mother hormone” from which all hormones are made including estrogens, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol and aldosterone.
Cholesterol protects the nucleus and all the genetic information in each cell. The outer lipid layer of each cell is made of cholesterol which acts as a protective barrier allowing certain nutrients into the cell. Some research suggests that cholesterol is protective, in that it stores heavy metals and toxins to avoid inflammatory exposure to our immune system.
If cholesterol becomes too low (less than 150), cells can become vulnerable and hormones have the potential to be out of balance. Women can skip periods and it can raise the risk of osteoporosis. It is important to look at the sub-fractionations of cholesterol, which includes the good (HDL) and the bad (LDL) levels, as well as triglycerides. Cholesterol and other fats are important, as long as they are in balance. Follow-up with your doctor for further testing and evaluation.
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