In my last post I talked about how cholesterol is measured (often erroneously) and mentioned a test where mine was down to 25. Well, you can imagine how my eye-brows and ears shot up when I saw that number (think Mr. Spock). So, like any good consumer advocate I dug in to answer today's question, "How Low is Too Low?" I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I discovered what currently has the traditional medical community's collective undies in a bundle over this issue.
First, let's give the short answer. Nobody knows what is too low but most cutting-edge cardiologists "guestimate" about 40-50 mmol/L just to be safe. Now, on to the fun. An obscure study published in the technical journal Laboratory Investigation shows that cholesterol blocks the damaging effects of alcohol on the Sonic hedgehog protein of zebrafish embryos. I SWEAR AM I NOT MAKING THIS UP! Here is the link if you need a laugh or are suffering from insomnia. http://www.nature.com/labinvest/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/3700516a.html
Apparently, some nut-job alarmists in the medical community (and probably the anti-drug zealots) are waving this all over the press as evidence that we should rethink the use of statins and lowering cholesterol. Are these people FREAKIN NUTS?! Sonic hedgehog protein? Zebrafish embryos? For Christ-sake this was a study investigating Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Defects. Talk about a leap. I'd have a better chance of making a leap over the Grand Canyon. Lord knows I am the first to begin speculation over arcane research but this . . . this is just over the top even for me! Let me explain it this way.
1. The head bone is connected to the neck bone 2. The neck bone is connected to the back bone 3. The back bone is connected to the butt bone. 4. Ergo, these guys have their heads up their butts!
I am ALWAYS looking for an interesting theory, titilating speculation, or a good conspiracy. But when I am looking for nuts, I'll stick to pistachios (well, almonds and walnuts are actually better for you, but, as I always say, that's the subject of another blog). Well, I did learn something. Sonic Hedgehogs are not just for video-games anymore!
My personal advice, keep taking your cholesterol medication until your doctor tells you not to.