Q. My total cholesterol is 140, my LDL is 55 and my HDL is 47. I am on simvastatin.
My chiropractor believes that my numbers are too low for me to be on medication. He says the brain is made up of cholesterol and we need a certain amount.
I am confused. My doctor thinks these numbers are great and wants me to stay on the drug.
A. This topic is highly controversial. Many physicians believe that the lower the cholesterol, the healthier the heart.
Cholesterol is essential for every cell in the body. It is a building block for hormones like estrogen, testosterone and vitamin D.
Although studies are scarce, there is evidence that low total cholesterol (below 180) is associated with a higher risk of death in older people (Lancet, Aug. 4, 2001; Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Jul. 2003). In addition, low LDL cholesterol (below 80) has been linked to a higher risk of bleeding stroke (Circulation, Apr. 28, 2009).
For more information on this complex topic we are sending you our Guide to Cholesterol Control with the pros and cons of medications and non-drug approaches. Don’t stop your medicine without discussing this issue further with your doctor.