Low cholesterol is not always a good thing

In an informative review of the science of cholesterol and health in ageing a group of authors at the University of Sao Paulo led by Dr Sandra Ribeiro have confirmed what we see so often in clinical practice and what the research has been showing for some time - that cholesterol is important to health and at later age low blood levels are likely to be harmful, not helpful.Its been shown many times that while keeping cholesterol levels lowered in middle age and until people reach their late 60s and 70s is important, from then on its essential that they do not fall too low.

Cholesterol is essential for correct brain and cell function and the key to avoiding the damage excess cholesterol can cause is keeping levels within an appropriate range - neither too high or too low. Medications like statins, effective in keeping blood cholesterol levels down, are useful but there may well come a time in life when they are no longer the best option. If there is more danger from low than high cholesterol, and if the side effects (including poor appetite) cause more harm than good then these medications may no longer be appropriate. The paper is yet to be published in the journal "Clinics in Geriatric Medicine" and I will provide a link when it is available.

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