Wouldn't you know it -- just as cholesterol is established as a dietary no-no, along comes word that too little cholesterol may be just as dangerous.
Coronary disease is still the No. 1 killer of Americans. The link between high cholesterol levels and heart problems is so strong that medical policies in this country are now heavily biased toward lowering cholesterol levels. Americans have, on average, cholesterol counts of around 200 units, and blanket policies geared toward lowering those levels would inevitably push some people below 160.
New large-scale studies (including both men and women) show that people with very low cholesterol levels have mortality rates as high as those of people with elevated cholesterol levels. They aren't as likely to die from heart disease, but their greater susceptibility to death from suicide, homicide, strokes, lung and liver diseases or certain types of cancer means the end result is the same.