Low Cholesterol Causes Aggressive Behavior and Depression

Despite the fact that most people are worried about having cholesterol levels that are too high, yet another study has found that low cholesterol is actually associated with adverse behavioral effects such as aggression and depression.

While the medical establishment continues to push the suppression of cholesterol levels to abnormally low levels, it is not widely known that there is a significant amount of evidence linking low cholesterol to aggressive behavior and depression.

According to researchers from Yale University School of Medicine, "The well-documented negative association between serum cholesterol and aggressive behavior has led Kaplan (Psychosom Med 1994 Nov-Dec;56:479-84) to propose a cholesterol-serotonin hypothesis of aggression.

According to this hypothesis, low dietary cholesterol intake leads to depressed central serotonergic activity, which itself has been reported in numerous studies of violent individuals."

  • Researchers studied 25 violent psychiatric patients

  • For 7 days, the patients wore signaling devices that emitted an average of seven signals a day.

  • Following each signal, patients filled out a mood questionnaire.

The authors found that "Total serum cholesterol (TSC) concentration was positively associated with measures of affect, cognitive efficiency, activation, and sociability, suggesting a link between low TSC and dysphoria."

"These findings are consistent with the cholesterol-serotonin hypothesis and with the substantive literature linking both aggression and depression to depressed central serotonergic activity," they conclude.

Journal of Behavioral Medicine, December 1, 2000; 23: 519-529

Dr. Mercola's Comments:


Well, with so many people taking drugs to lower their cholesterol and half the population predicted to take statin drugs in the future, it is time that we seriously re-evaluated what we are doing with them. Just like our weight, there is an optimum with cholesterol as well. Some people believe that the lower your cholesterol, the healthier you are.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If your cholesterol is too low you will have an increased risk of mood disorders, depression, stroke, and violence. And these are only the KNOWN effects right now. There are likely many more currently unknown and unstudied.

This best predictor of heart disease with respect to cholesterol is the HDL/total cholesterol ratio.

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