Normally, you always hear about high cholesterol in the media, usually in connection with the risk of coronary heart disease (*). However, hardly anyone talks about cholesterol levels being too low.
There is some evidence in the literature that low cholesterol levels can also have negative consequences. This mainly affects mood and memory.
1. low cholesterol levels lead to restless sleep and nightmares
In an American study, low cholesterol levels appear to be associated with nightmares. In addition, there are isolated reports that certain cholesterol-lowering drugs lead to more frequent nightmares.
2. too little cholesterol makes depressive
Some studies have already shown a correlation between low cholesterol levels and depression. Women with very low cholesterol levels showed twice the risk of depression than women with normal to moderate levels in one study. Cholesterol-lowering drugs also appear to have a negative effect on mood, as has been found in older people. At the same time, relapse seems more likely in formerly depressed patients taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.
What’s exciting to note here is that many people who switch to a ketogenic (low-carb, high-fat) diet experience significantly improved mood – and that’s even if they were previously suffering from depression.
3. low cholesterol and aggressiveness
Another study from the U.S. found a link between low total cholesterol and aggressiveness in children. Thus, children with very low levels were three times more likely to be expelled from school than those with cholesterol levels in the normal range.
4. cholesterol and memory performance
Several studies give reason to believe that taking cholesterol-lowering drugs is associated with worsened memory. In some cases, complete memory loss was observed with statin treatment, which partially regressed after discontinuation of the drug.