Relationship of vitamin D and cholesterol.

With the enlargement (waist line) of the population, both in kids and adults, vitamin D deficiency is increasing. And with it is coming a plethora of preventable complications, including metabolic syndrome.

Please check your vitamin D level every few years. Strive to keep your level in the upper third of your lab reference range. I have a feeling we will see low vitamin D as a risk for high cholesterol. After all, your body makes vitamin D from cholesterol. If your vitamin D is low, your liver may be encouraged to make lots more cholesterol to increase your vitamin D.

Ref: Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2007; 20(7).

Q. and A.  Dr.J. Rowan

Q: I have high cholesterol and do not want to take any statin drugs. 

My cholesterol from my last blood work in August 2004 was HDL ó 52; 

LDL ó 156; triglycerides ó 138; and total cholesterol ó 236. I do 

not know how they arrive at 236. Can you explain it? Iíve taken a 

lot of supplements to lower my cholesterol, but havenít had any 

luck. Can you help? ó Joyce M., via e-mail


A: Iím glad you donít want to take statins. These usually cause more 

problems than they solve.

Your total cholesterol is the gross amount of cholesterol in your 

blood. The total amount is then broken down into subfractions, since 

cholesterol is carried in different forms. HDL is generally 

considered the ďgoodĒ form of cholesterol. Yours is in the average 

range. LDL is generally considered the ďbadĒ form, but new evidence 

suggests that not all LDL is ďbadĒ either. The Lipoprotein-B fraction of LDL may be the bad actor in LDL. We want that number as 

low as possible, certainly below 100. Iíd like to know yours. Total 

cholesterol is made up of not only HDL and LDL, but other 

sub fractions of cholesterol not generally measured. 

Your triglycerides (fats), if it was a fasting test, are a little 

too high for my book. It is a sign that your body is producing 

excess insulin in an effort to get rid of excess carbs you might be 

eating. Insulin turns the carbs into fats for long-term storage. But 

that storage might occur in places you wouldnít want. High levels of 

insulin promote atherosclerosis. 

I donít go as nuts about your total cholesterol as conventional 

docs. Iím more concerned about what your body does with the 

cholesterol. Your numbers suggest a bit more risk than Iíd like. 

Before you try supplements or drugs for cholesterol, you might 

consider diet and lifestyle changes.


Consider my numbers: total cholesterol, 168, HDL 58, LDL 88. Now it 

canít be my genes. Most of my immediate family members have 

cholesterol well above 200. Iím an organic, nearly all raw food 

vegan (minimal dairy) and get ample exercise. Iíve yet to see one 

who eats like me with a cholesterol-related heart problem. While I 

donít expect you to embrace my diet 100%, any movement in that 

direction, I believe, will lower your overall risk.


Regarding specific supplements, there are a wide variety that might 

work (such as oat bran, niacin, policosanol, guggul, calcium, to 

name a few). But none work all the time in all people. For difficult 

cases, I recommend taking Advanced Bionutritionals Advanced 

Cholesterol Formula, PhosChol (available online), and red yeast 

rice. The combination will often work when nothing else does. 

General Sillies           Back