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  • Writer's pictureDavid S Klein, MD

What is the Optimal Cholesterol for Longevity? The answer will surprise you.

The Optimal Level of Cholesterol is much higher than the doctor may be telling you.

The article referenced below is very interesting and insightful. Your doctor will likely disagree with their data, even after observing over 12.8 million adults over a period of greater than 10 years.

Pubmed link
National Library of Medicine

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy or longevity is a 'U' shaped curve when plotted against cholesterol level. That is, there is a range whereby the 'optimal total cholesterol' is associated with the lowest all-cause mortality. It is slightly different between men and women, and there is an age factor, as well. Click on the above graph to go to the article from the National Library of Medicine.

One thing to consider when listening to opinions on cholesterol levels and 'statin' use is that statin trials were mainly performed in persons at a high risk of heart disease, especially in men with manifest CVD, in whom heart disease mortality constituted approximately 50% of all deaths.

According to the authors, "Total cholesterol (TC) had U-curve associations with mortality in each age-sex group. TC levels associated with lowest mortality were 210–249 mg/dL, except for men aged 18–34 years (180–219 mg/dL) and women aged 18–34 years (160–199 mg/dL) and 35–44 years (180–219 mg/dL). The inverse associations for TC < 200 mg/dL were stronger than the positive associations in the upper range."

Critical review of the graphical data would show that a patient is at greater risk of death having 'low cholesterol' than having a very high level. Somewhat at odds with the general consensus?

When you are told "the lower the cholesterol, the better," you may not be getting the very best advice.


The Functional Medicine Difference.

Functional medicine doctors have a unique approach to health care. The number one pillar of functional medicine is a prevention-based approach.

We want to create the best conditions for your health to prevent chronic diseases so you can enjoy a long, healthy, high-quality life.


A functional medicine doctor also takes a comprehensive approach to patent care, focusing on the root causes of conditions instead of just treating the symptoms.

David S. Klein, MD, FACA, FACPM

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Stages of Life Medical Institute

1917 Boothe Circle

Longwood, Florida 32750

Tel: 407-679-3337

Fax: 407-678-7246


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