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The Blood Type Diet Archives Volume 4
Posted By: JFS
Date: May-04, 1998 at 02:04:40
In Response To: Geeze! Mine has always hovered between 100-110. (heidi)
The whole subject of low cholesterol has not received the systematic study it deserves, and what there has been seems to focus principally on suicide and other forms of violent death in men. There are numerous references in Medline to peruse in a state of partial to total bewilderment. Here's a sampling:
Cholesterol and violence: is there a connection? Ann Intern Med. 1998 Mar 15; 128(6): 478-487. Review. Interestingly, this abstract notes: "Human and animal research indicates that low or lowered cholesterol levels may reduce central serotonin activity, which in turn is causally linked to violent behaviors." (But experiments with gerbils did not find such a cause and effect relationship. Diet-induced changes in serum cholesterol concentrations do not alter tryptophan hydroxylation rate or serotonin concentrations in gerbil brain. Life Sci. 1996; 58(17): 1433-1444.) Or the causation might run the other way. (At least one study concluded that both violent death and reduced cholesterol were symptoms of other diseases. Low serum cholesterol and mortality. Which is the cause and which is the effect? Circulation. 1995 Nov 1; 92(9): 2396-2403.)
Serotonin is linked to feelings of well-being, and low serotonin to depression; the popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (e.g., Prozac) help improve serotonin availability by slowing its breakdown. Curiously, the fastest way to boost serotonin with food appears to be a high-carbohydrate snack (adequate in tryptophan, the amino acid from which serotonin is formed). Is this why we instinctively reach for chocolate when we're down? Exercise also has powerful effects on feelings of well-being, but this may be through a different mechanism (e.g., endorphins).
A Norwegian study found that lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in women were associated with higher risk of colon cancer, but concluded that the differences were "incidental" and that in reality there was no association between cholesterol levels and colon cancer. Blood lipid and lipoprotein levels and the risk of cancer of the colon and rectum. A prospective study of 62,173 Norwegian men and women. Scand J Gastroenterol. 1997 Feb; 32(2): 162-168. You can find more papers with a search such as "cholesterol AND colon cancer" or "cholesterol AND suicide".
Hoping this all becomes clearer real soon...
Messages in This Thread
David L. -- Monday, 18 May 1998, at 5:11 p.m.