Results of a study conducted by Dutch researchers provide additional evidence for a link between low cholesterol levels and an increased risk of depression in men. Investigators measured serum cholesterol levels in some 30,000 men, as part of a large screening program.
They compared the presence of depressive symptoms, anger, hostility, and impulsivity in these men, to men with cholesterol levels in the normal range. They found that men with chronically low cholesterol levels showed a consistently higher risk of having depressive symptoms.
Cholesterol may affect the metabolism of serotonin, a substance known to be involved in the regulation of mood as the researchers have previously shown that serotonin levels are also reduced in men with low levels of cholesterol.
Psychosomatic Medicine 2000;62.
The results could be seen as a challenge to the view that 'the lower the cholesterol, the better.' Clearly this is not true. Cholesterol is not the evil molecule it is made out to be. There clearly appears to be a risk for cholesterols that are too low.
What is too low? Probably any level much under 150, an optimum would likely be 200. Cholesterol is important as it serves as the precursor molecule for most all of our steroid hormones, such as pregnenolone, DHEA, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen.
If one has low cholesterol levels then one should be suspicious that your hormones may not be optimal. My cholesterol has been as low as 85 and with great effort I was able to get it up to 175. However, it is usually below 150. I have tried many therapies to increase it, but none have been consistently effective.