The cultural dogma is that cholesterol is an evil villain that needs to be eradicated for true health. Given the unflagging efforts of the United States medical establishment over the last few decades to lower cholesterol and corresponding media saturation of food and drug promotions boasting cholesterol-lowering effects, it is understandable that most consumers are not concerned about having cholesterol levels that are too low. Clinical practices appear to uphold the belief that “lower is better”, regardless of significant evidence to the contrary. Opposing reports from aggressive cholesterol-lowering methods suggest that, for many patients, the potential cardiovascular benefits may come with unforeseen risks to mental health and behavior.
A significant connection between low cholesterol and poor psychiatric health has been emphasized through decades of observational and retrospective research studies. Correlations with substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, and suicide strongly imply that cholesterol status influences mood and behavior. Inadequate cholesterol levels may represent a shared etiological factor between these conditions and explain the overlapping continuum of pathology.
With the number of prescriptions to anti-depressants and cholesterol-lowering drugs continuing to rise in patients young and old, it is imperative for clinicians to be aware of the undeniable influence of cholesterol status in both the etiology and treatment of mental health disorders.
Discover the treatment protocol I have adopted in my integrative psychiatry practice for safely and effectively optimizing total cholesterol levels, along with other treatment strategies for nutrients associated with brain health.
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