Can Cholesterol Levels be too Low?

I have always heard that 150 is a good number for total cholesterol.
I don’t know any ratios of mine, but my total cholesterol is 101. Is this low? IS there any risks associated with low cholesterol levels, or is it the lower the better?? I am a 22 yo female.


  • Marie

    The body makes its own cholesterol (you wouldn’t really know this by the way it tends to be talked about like it’s a poison), so if you don’t take in any in your diet, you’ll still have enough. You absolutely do need cholesterol; it’s a vital component of cell membranes.

    There are certain genetic disorders where the pathway for making cholesterol is disrupted, and others where the absorption or scavenger pathways are messed up. Low cholesterol levels can also be a sign of an underlying chronic disease like hypothyroidism or leukemia, or it could be a sign that the liver is dysfunctional and isn’t able to make cholesterol. Or they could result from simple malnutrition.

    That’s mostly just to show off my memory of biophysiology classes. *g* The fact is that there’s really no evidence that low levels of cholesterol are intrinsically harmful–they are only of concern if they might be a sign of one of those underlying causes. If you’re healthy, your level is probably perfectly normal for you. If you happen to be a vegetarian, you take in very little or no dietary cholesterol and that will just be your natural level. Cholesterol levels also vary a lot from day to day and depend on what you’ve eaten recently. If you had that level taken after not having eaten anything fatty for a while, you just had low circulating levels of cholesterol at that time.

  • Susan Yarrawonga

    Cholesterol levels can never be too low as our bodies synthesize cholesterol.

    If cholesterol levels could be too low then vegans, who don’t consume any cholesterol, would have a very short life. Most vegans are very healthy.

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