The Dangers of Low Cholesterol

Cholesterol & Serotonin

The relationship may be serotonin. Cholesterol levels and mood disorders may be connected by a link between low cholesterol concentrations and low levels of the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps elevate our mood. Low levels are associated with depression, anger, sleep loss and other mood disorders. Cholesterol plays an important role in how our body handles neuron function -- a body needs a certain amount of cholesterol circulating in its system to keep our neurons firing normally. Too little cholesterol in the body, researchers theorize, alters the way our nerve cells function.

What does this mean for most of us? Most of us suffer from high cholesterol, not low -- more than 106 million Americans age 20 and older have high cholesterol levels while only about 10 to 15 percent of Americans have very low cholesterol levels.

Further investigation will be needed before low cholesterol concentrations are used as a potential biological marker for suicide and depression risks. In general, having low cholesterol levels is considered healthy, however, when combined with other circumstances, it may increase risks of mood and nervous system disorders.