8

votes

My freakishly low cholestrol.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 11, 2011 at 11:29 PM

Just as an update, I had an email exchange with Chris Kresser and he was more inclined to think some nutrient deficiency or impaired liver function. He asked me if I was sensitive to smells and sure enough I am highly sensitive which apparently can indicate manganese deficiency and could account for the cholesterol and the sensitivity. Anyway, I'm going to talk further with him and maybe follow through with some of his ideas and suggestions. I'll keep you posted if we make any discoveries or even raise my numbers a bit. Thanks for all your help!


I can't seem to find much in the way of reliable info about this issue so thought I'd ask here. For the last 20 years since I've been testing my cholesterol my total is in the range of 85-95. My ratios are good. Of course for years I thought this was fabulous because people would simply gush about how lucky I was to have these kind of numbers. A few years ago when I learned maybe not so much I started to inquire and could find no one who thought this was an issue. I seem to find some information that links levels like mine to increases in stroke, cancer, infections depression, and suicide. I have had depression all my life and have taken medication for it for many years. I could never resolve it any other way. Anyway I'm concerned but don't know where to turn for reliable information. It seems most studies are using people taking statins with artificially lowered levels or people taking steroids who have jacked their numbers that way.

I bought some pregnenolone because I came across a few sources that recommended it and took it for a few days but felt uneasy doing that so I stopped. I've seen suggestions to lower my intake of cholesterol to force my body to produce more but that doesn't really make sense to me (does that make any sense from a Paleo perspective?) I should note that all this time of being tested over the last 20 years I have been eating a high fat/high cholesterol diet so all testing took place under those same conditions.

Would a naturopath or some other type health care provider be more helpful than the internists I've talked to about this? I'm just at a complete loss and am open to any and all suggestions be it supplements, changes in diet or sources of information to get help.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 13, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Yes exactly for the fat...especially as much saturated fat as you can get from coconut oil, fatty beef, fatty lamb, etc. Pan fry your eggs in coconut oil and have some bacon. I would also look at Dr Ayers at coolinginflamation.blogspot.com for healing the gut for better absorption of nutrients. Its quite technical but I read it and accept the fact that I don't understand it all. He does say fibrous inulin foods ferment in the gut and cure gut dysbiosis.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 13, 2011
at 01:02 PM

Yes exactly for the fat...especially as much saturated fat as you can get from coconut oil, fatty beef, fatty lamb, etc plus the mono fat in olive oil with vinegar on salads plus copious amounts of butter slathered on steamed veggies. Pan fry your eggs in coconut oil and have some bacon. I would also look at Dr Ayers at http://www.coolinginflamation.blogspot.com for healing the gut for better absorption of nutrients. Its quite technical but I read it and accept the fact that I don't understand it all. He does say inulin foods ferment in the gut and cure gut dysbiosis.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 13, 2011
at 08:06 AM

Thanks Ambimorph. @Shari, well egg yolks contain them too, but it's a bit of a long shot: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18203890

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:49 PM

Maybe I can find a lipidologist who is more enlightened? I live in the SF Bay area so surely there is someone around here? Maybe Chris Kresser would know someone?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Dexter why the 100% ketogenic? Just for the extra sat fat?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:43 PM

No obsession foods really. I've had these readings over a 20 year span so it certainly seems to be a chronic issue. My diet hasn't changed a lot in that time so I don't know. Certainly there have been plenty of food constants during this time that I could look at. Not sure where to even start. God help me if it's meat, lol! I've lived in the US all this time but went East coast to West coast.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:40 PM

Both parents still alive and well and my dad does have somewhat low numbers in the 150 range for total. I sure would feel better if I could get into the 100's though.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:38 PM

I have been approaching my PCP's over the last 10 years with this and no they do not seem concerned. I have a new one now and I think I'm going to just force him to deal with me or refer me to someone who can. My father has numbers in the 150 range so slightly off optimal levels. He's 75 and healthy as a horse so that give me some hope.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:36 PM

I don't do any organs/offal at all. I just can't seem to get there. I will think about it though. I'm pretty upset about this situation so if a few kidneys will keep me from stroking out I might be able to swing it. Thanks for the link. I'll check that out.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:34 PM

I don't seem to have any of those and these low readings have been going on now for 20 years so you would think if they were being caused by any of these issues I'd know it by now? I don't suffer Chrohn's and no malabsorption issues as I get my nutrient levels checked every few years and no issues there except for low D which I have been supplementing for the last two years and low stored iron (ferritin) which I also supplement for.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:31 PM

You guys are hilarious! Travis unfortunately I'm in the middle of moving and all my records are boxed up somewhere. I just remember running the numbers and the ratios were excellent and triglycerides were perfect. I'm not sure ratios matter though when you basically have no cholesterol which seems to be my situation.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:35 PM

I really like your point about low cholesterol and ill-health being merely associations.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 12, 2011
at 12:52 PM

That study was design was extremely flawed.....if you read it. Fish oil decreases NF kappa beta and NF kappa beta has to be high to get prostate CA......high quality fish oil is key......and measuring US CRP at the same time is paramount.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 12, 2011
at 12:49 PM

LOL touche.....

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:49 AM

Carefull Dr. K, being told you are doomed to an early grave can raise cortsol levels...

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 12, 2011
at 08:40 AM

are you still not eating any/much red meat? (i read a previous post, because i am nosey :--->) ) maybe that has something to do with it.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on May 12, 2011
at 05:56 AM

Dr. K, I would take it easy on the fish oil given recent reports regarding (prostate) cancer being associated with n-3 via high serum DHA levels. Instead, I would advise this person to get inflammation markers tested (CRP, Sed Rrate, Ferritin) and also Homocysteine. Seriously, a ton of fish oil can be extremely harmful for someone with incipient cancer. No more than 1 tbsp and that is probably even too much.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 12, 2011
at 02:46 AM

if you eat low carb and he has IBS you need to tighten up. The HDL level is a real concern. That and TG are the key numbers on a lipid panel. HDL is extremely powerful predictor of cardiac autophagy in women especially.....infact it is our best marker of heart disease in women. you all probably need to eat autoimmune paleo and step up the MCT and HIIT.....lots of NIACIN and A TON of FISH OIL.

E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:29 AM

We also eat very low carb.

E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:27 AM

He also has IBS.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:26 AM

please......save it for your own thoughts. Maybe this is what she should be thinking about? Her actions buying pregnenolone tells me she gets where it should be going......seems that you really dont have the introspection. Again your perception.....your reality.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:14 AM

@Dr. K. Did you even bother to read her question? She is looking for ADVICE. [This is exactly the behavior what I was talking about earlier]

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 12, 2011
at 12:29 AM

a HDL of 37 is more of a tell than anything.....IF your HDL is above 60 as a women you have zero risk of a cardiac death.....for men its 70. LDL of 56 is a bad omen. Cancer and CVA being up there.....

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 12, 2011
at 12:22 AM

Look at the data on the CETP drugs.......their being developed to lower LDL to unreal levels because cardiology believes cholesterol lower is great......guess what happened in the CETP trials? They stopped them because people DIED! Just like the 50 yr Framingham Study said they would.....guess what the pharma guys are now doing? Retrying it with more CETP target drugs. This shows you their heads are up their asses. They did not believe Framingham and they have not believed any of the hundreds of studies that show cholesterol too low will KILL. And it DOES. Eat Fat and live carbs kill

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:53 PM

They are not much better because they still believe cholesterol is the be all end all. Its not but when its too low.....especially LDL you die. Cancer is up there too.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:52 PM

low total Chol is associated with higher death rates. read the papaer from 99 that was the 50 yr total data on cholesterol.....those with the highest cholesterol lived the longest and those with the lowest die the soonest. That is lauded as the best every heart study ever done. Began in 1948 and ended in 1998.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:45 PM

What does the full panel look like?

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9 Answers

4
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 12, 2011
at 08:27 AM

Have you looked at 'How to Raise HDL'?,

Also, I was never previously aware of this, but apparently low manganese can cause hypocholesterolemia. (Spinach and seaweeds seem good paleo sources).

Also I wouldn't necessarily worry too much about having innately low cholesterol. Though there is a clear u-shaped curve for mortality with cholesterol, this might well be simply because ill health causes low cholesterol, rather than low cholesterol being intrinsically harmful.

Out of interest, have you tried eating lots of liver and kidneys? The jury still seems to be out on whether dietary cholesterol has any effect on our levels and a pound of either would give you @1.5g cholesterol. That's insignificant to some-one with normal levels, but might be worth a try in your case, and it can't do any harm- it might sort out some latent micronutrient deficiency at least.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:36 PM

I don't do any organs/offal at all. I just can't seem to get there. I will think about it though. I'm pretty upset about this situation so if a few kidneys will keep me from stroking out I might be able to swing it. Thanks for the link. I'll check that out.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:35 PM

I really like your point about low cholesterol and ill-health being merely associations.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 13, 2011
at 08:06 AM

Thanks Ambimorph. @Shari, well egg yolks contain them too, but it's a bit of a long shot: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18203890

2
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on May 12, 2011
at 12:27 PM

Some things that can cause low cholesterol include:

hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid gland, liver disease, malabsorption, inadequate absorption of nutrients from the intestines (e.g., Crohn's diease), malnutrition.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:34 PM

I don't seem to have any of those and these low readings have been going on now for 20 years so you would think if they were being caused by any of these issues I'd know it by now? I don't suffer Chrohn's and no malabsorption issues as I get my nutrient levels checked every few years and no issues there except for low D which I have been supplementing for the last two years and low stored iron (ferritin) which I also supplement for.

1
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on May 12, 2011
at 06:03 AM

Are you under the care of a physician? If so, I can't imagine even those in conventional medicine giving you a pat in the back saying you're in great health. I think even those guys will be concerned. And you're taking no statin.

I believe the concern is with regard to cancer. I guess we can call this hypocholesterolimia, familial if your parents also had such low levels.

If you're seeing a naturopath, one guys comes to mind: the Healthy Skeptic. Chris Kresser.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:38 PM

I have been approaching my PCP's over the last 10 years with this and no they do not seem concerned. I have a new one now and I think I'm going to just force him to deal with me or refer me to someone who can. My father has numbers in the 150 range so slightly off optimal levels. He's 75 and healthy as a horse so that give me some hope.

1
8f4ff12a53a98f3b5814cfe242de0daa

(1075)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:53 AM

I would presume that, assuming your parents lived a decently long while (and had similiar numbers) it would be okay. I'm not one to suggest going to a natropath.

I'm in a somewhat similar situation (64 HDL, 57 LDL, total 121, and like 45 trigs). But eh, I've seen plenty of people with numbers like that go well with health, so I leave it alone (although mine are a good bit higher than 90... ./shrug).

Dietary saturated fat (and fat in general) can have a very limited impact (oddly enough, it drives some CW doctors crazy about how much people care about their numbers), and dietary cholesterol has almost none. So just trying to maximize the "good" aspect of your numbers ( HDL > LDL ) would be a decent target.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:40 PM

Both parents still alive and well and my dad does have somewhat low numbers in the 150 range for total. I sure would feel better if I could get into the 100's though.

1
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 12, 2011
at 12:20 AM

What an interesting problem! I would ask this question on the various Paleo blogs, especially the ones owned by scientific/medical types. One of them (Cordain? Sisson? Wolfe? I'm probably misspelling all their names...) would have some interesting insights, probably completely with metabolic pathways and uptake channel drawings...

Do you have any obsession foods? I'm thinking of a guy who kept going to the hospital because of his blood pressure would drop to dangerous levels. In the hospital he'd get better quickly but as soon as he went back to work it'd drop again. Turned out he was addicted to licorice (ate it in the car to work) which in high quantities blocks Potassium which caused blood pressure drop. Maybe some nut or herb? Junk food with trans-fats or a dye?

Along the same lines, you might have an allergic reaction to some food. Gluten, Lactose, nuts - I know those can cause "problems" but don't know if too-low cholesterol would be one of them. Have you tried any elimination diets?

I'm not a doctor, but I think cutting back on cholesterol wouldn't do much, and might even be dangerous if you don't want to drop further.

And have you lived in one region the whole time - could it be environmental?

Best of luck! I hope you let us know if you find anything!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:43 PM

No obsession foods really. I've had these readings over a 20 year span so it certainly seems to be a chronic issue. My diet hasn't changed a lot in that time so I don't know. Certainly there have been plenty of food constants during this time that I could look at. Not sure where to even start. God help me if it's meat, lol! I've lived in the US all this time but went East coast to West coast.

1
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:58 PM

http://www.ctds.info/low_cholesterol.html

hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid gland liver disease malabsorption inadequate absorption of nutrients from the intestines malnutrition Manganese deficiency has also been linked to low cholesterol levels (hypocholesterolemia).

I'm sure you have researched plenty but thought I would throw the above out.

The only very low Cholesterol I have seen among a few of my friends...110 to 160 is in the endurance biking field...hundreds of miles a week. And they are all carb loaders all the time.

Since you have been functioning fine so far, I think if it were me, I would go 100% ketogenic for 6 months and then test. More saturated fat would be my plan.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 13, 2011
at 01:02 PM

Yes exactly for the fat...especially as much saturated fat as you can get from coconut oil, fatty beef, fatty lamb, etc plus the mono fat in olive oil with vinegar on salads plus copious amounts of butter slathered on steamed veggies. Pan fry your eggs in coconut oil and have some bacon. I would also look at Dr Ayers at http://www.coolinginflamation.blogspot.com for healing the gut for better absorption of nutrients. Its quite technical but I read it and accept the fact that I don't understand it all. He does say inulin foods ferment in the gut and cure gut dysbiosis.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Dexter why the 100% ketogenic? Just for the extra sat fat?

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 13, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Yes exactly for the fat...especially as much saturated fat as you can get from coconut oil, fatty beef, fatty lamb, etc. Pan fry your eggs in coconut oil and have some bacon. I would also look at Dr Ayers at coolinginflamation.blogspot.com for healing the gut for better absorption of nutrients. Its quite technical but I read it and accept the fact that I don't understand it all. He does say fibrous inulin foods ferment in the gut and cure gut dysbiosis.

1
5b10588d2ad4df7174bc61057f9bcda6

on May 11, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Reach out to a lipidologist. Interest generally just know how to test and follow old guidelines

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:53 PM

They are not much better because they still believe cholesterol is the be all end all. Its not but when its too low.....especially LDL you die. Cancer is up there too.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:49 PM

Maybe I can find a lipidologist who is more enlightened? I live in the SF Bay area so surely there is someone around here? Maybe Chris Kresser would know someone?

0
E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:58 PM

My husbands is low too. TC 123, HDL 37, LDl 56. I worry about this too. Sure don't know what else to do in addition to eating a high saturated fat diet.

E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:27 AM

He also has IBS.

E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:29 AM

We also eat very low carb.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 12, 2011
at 12:29 AM

a HDL of 37 is more of a tell than anything.....IF your HDL is above 60 as a women you have zero risk of a cardiac death.....for men its 70. LDL of 56 is a bad omen. Cancer and CVA being up there.....

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 12, 2011
at 12:52 PM

That study was design was extremely flawed.....if you read it. Fish oil decreases NF kappa beta and NF kappa beta has to be high to get prostate CA......high quality fish oil is key......and measuring US CRP at the same time is paramount.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on May 12, 2011
at 05:56 AM

Dr. K, I would take it easy on the fish oil given recent reports regarding (prostate) cancer being associated with n-3 via high serum DHA levels. Instead, I would advise this person to get inflammation markers tested (CRP, Sed Rrate, Ferritin) and also Homocysteine. Seriously, a ton of fish oil can be extremely harmful for someone with incipient cancer. No more than 1 tbsp and that is probably even too much.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 12, 2011
at 02:46 AM

if you eat low carb and he has IBS you need to tighten up. The HDL level is a real concern. That and TG are the key numbers on a lipid panel. HDL is extremely powerful predictor of cardiac autophagy in women especially.....infact it is our best marker of heart disease in women. you all probably need to eat autoimmune paleo and step up the MCT and HIIT.....lots of NIACIN and A TON of FISH OIL.

0
1b2d003b269674163948b36693f2bbe4

on May 11, 2011
at 11:53 PM

Mine is low too and I always thought it was a good thing :/

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 12, 2011
at 12:22 AM

Look at the data on the CETP drugs.......their being developed to lower LDL to unreal levels because cardiology believes cholesterol lower is great......guess what happened in the CETP trials? They stopped them because people DIED! Just like the 50 yr Framingham Study said they would.....guess what the pharma guys are now doing? Retrying it with more CETP target drugs. This shows you their heads are up their asses. They did not believe Framingham and they have not believed any of the hundreds of studies that show cholesterol too low will KILL. And it DOES. Eat Fat and live carbs kill

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