When people think about getting healthy cholesterol numbers, they usually think about what to do to lower blood serum levels and not trying to increase them.
New research out of Canada, though, offers a reason to make sure that cholesterol doesn’t get too low, and not for reasons you might think.
A Canadian study following more than 11,000 participants tracked their cholesterol levels and compared them to participants’ risk of suicide.
What they found was very unsettling. While the goal for cholesterol is to keep levels at a healthy level, having cholesterol that is too low puts people at an increased risk of suicide, according to the Canadian study.
Researchers found that the lower a person’s blood serum levels were, the higher their risk of suicide was.
Other dangers of having very low cholesterol levels include liver damage, inability to process certain medications, failure to absorb and metabolize vitamins, osteoporosis, vision issues, and toxicity in the blood. Any one of these conditions could contribute to increased suicide risk as well.
The risk association was equal for those whose low cholesterol was due to genetic factors as well as poor diet.
Whether depression contributed to low cholesterol or low cholesterol caused suicidal tendencies was not clear according to the study leaders.