Questions and Answers

What are the effects of low cholesterol?

We always talk and hear about the effects of high cholesterol, but we hardly think and discuss about the low blood cholesterol levels. Recent studies and researches tell us that low cholesterol level can be very harmful as in the case of high cholesterol level.

Our body needs “good cholesterol” to perform certain functions and protect us from the diseases that can be caused from the “bad cholesterol”.
Good cholesterol is very important for manufacturing sex hormones, building cell membrane, metabolism of some vitamins. It also removes the plaque accumulated on the walls of arteries formed by the bad cholesterol. Plaque makes the artery passage narrow and does not allow the proper circulation of blood. Furthermore, good cholesterol takes the plaque back to the liver to get rid of it.

You must have the normal levels of cholesterol because both high and low levels can be harmful. Cholesterol is measured in the mg/dl (how many milligrams of cholesterol is present in one deciliter of blood). The sum of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol must range between 160mg/dl to 220 mg/dl. Moreover, bad cholesterol should not increase from 100 mg/dl while good cholesterol should not be less than 40 mg/dl. So actually you have to keep a check that bad cholesterol does not increase and good cholesterol does not decrease from the normal levels.

It may cause liver disease, hyperthyroidism, malabsorption (not proper absorption of nutrients in the intestines), severe inflammatory diseases, deficiency of vitamin D, and hypocholesterolemia. Also people having the low cholesterol level are at greater risk of having the depression and anxiety problem.

Recent research has shown that a person having an extremely low cholesterol level (below 150 mg/dl) have more chances of cerebral hemorrhage (cerebral hemorrhage happens if any brain artery bursts) than the person having a high cholesterol level (above 190mg/dl).

We know that high cholesterol level in a pregnant lady may lead to premature birth of the baby. But researchers say that same can happen if the pregnant lady has low cholesterol levels. Also the child will be underweight.

Lack of physical activity, obesity, cigarette smoking, etc. can lead to the low levels of good cholesterol.

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