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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (novick.vegsource.com)
Subject:         Re: Help! I think my cholesterol is too low!
Date: March 7, 2008 at 6:11 am PST

In Reply to: Help! I think my cholesterol is too low! posted by john l on March 6, 2008 at 3:54 pm:

Hi John

Thanks for the information and sorry to hear about the situation. Sounds like a real quandary.

I would love to help, however your questions and/or situation is outside the scope of these boards and what can be done on them.

My answer to you is that I strongly recommend that you get yourself to a qualified health care practitioner who knows what they are doing as it seems you are not getting the best of advice and some of it is conflicting/confusing. And, some of it borders on quackery.

Having said that, in general..

There is some fairly good evidence of a connection between "essential fatty acids" and depression and other mental health issues (but not anxiety). So, ensuring adequte intake of essential fats is always important and maybe more so, in such conditions. This can be done through a properly planned vegetarian diet.

There are some studies that have shown some benefit with additional supplementation of essential fats, however, it would be important to properly evaluate your whole lifestyle and diet before just adding in a supplement. Many other lifestyle related issues can effect anxiety and depression.

Whole there have been many attempts to correlate a low cholesterol with many health problems (as you have pointed some of them out) a low cholesterol that occurs as a result of a healthy diet and lifestyle is not dangerous.

Usually the low cholesterol is not the root of a problem, but a marker and/or symptom of other underlying health/medical issues. In these cases, it is important to discover and deal with the true underlying issue and not the cholesterol, as just treating the cholesterol, will only fix a number and not the underlying condition.

Fish oil, is not known to raise cholesterol levels and may in fact, lower them even more.

In general, I would not recommend the use of coconut oil or spirulina. In addition, I see no reason why anyone would want to increase their intake of saturated fat as it is not essential nor will it solve anything.

At home cholesterol tests may not be accurate, and one should never go by one reading. And as different labs often produce different results, you have to look for trends in test from the same labs.

Again, it is important that you find someone who can work with you on an individual basis and they should be able to provide you with documented rationale for their approach. Prescription for Natural Healing would not fall under this category. I would want to see some peer reviewed published data in mainstream science journals.

In Health
Jeff

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