The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Friday, 30 April 2010

Low cholesterol is a risk factor for suicide

This post includes a summary of a paper pPublished in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1997; 836:57-80

Study title and authors:
Assessing the observed relationship between low cholesterol and violence-related mortality. Implications for suicide risk.
Kaplan JR, Muldoon MF, Manuck SB, Mann JJ
Comparative Medicine Clinical Research Center, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1040, USA.

This paper can be accessed at:

Kaplan reviewed the evidence concerning cholesterol levels and suicide or traumatic death.

The review found:
(a) Accumulating evidence suggests that naturally low or clinically reduced cholesterol is associated with increased nonillness mortality (principally suicide and accidents).
(b) Other evidence suggests that such increases in suicide and traumatic death may be caused by the adverse changes in behaviour and mood that sometimes accompany low or reduced cholesterol.
(c) A study on monkeys revealed that reductions in cholesterol levels increased the tendency of the monkeys to engage in impulsive or violent behaviour through a mechanism involving central serotonergic activity.
(d) It is speculated that the cholesterol-serotonin-behavior association represents a mechanism evolved to increase hunting or competitive foraging behavior in the face of nutritional threats signaled by a decline in total serum cholesterol.

Kaplan concluded: "The epidemiological and experimental data could be interpreted as having two implications for public health: (1) low-cholesterol may be a marker for risk of suicide or traumatic death and (2) cholesterol lowering may have adverse effects for some individuals under some circumstances".