Friday, November 20, 2009

Low cholesterol levels predict cancer

While many believe low levels of total cholesterol protects against heart attack and stroke, a new study finds it to be a warning sign for certain types of cancer.

According to the study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, certain types of cancer may cause low total cholesterol levels, a combination of both the bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and the good high-density lipoprotein (HDL), in many individuals.

"Our study affirms that lower total cholesterol may be caused by undiagnosed cancer," said lead researcher Demetrius Albanes, stressing that high levels of good cholesterol have a protective role against all cancers, particularly among women.

Men with total cholesterol levels lower than 230 milligrams/deciliter were reported to be at an overall 18 percent higher risk of developing cancer - mainly invasive forms of prostate cancer. Scientists concluded that low total cholesterol is a sign of cancer rather than a cause.

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