I am studying processes 1. stroke, 2. heart disease, and 3. cancer, and their mechanisms associated with low cholesterol which is a result of lowering cholesterol especially in elderly, Low cholesterol is associated with mortality from stroke, heart disease, and cancer: the Jichi Medical School Cohort Study. Stroke's manifestation is primary intracerebral hemorrhage ICH confirmed by many exclusion articles of other factors such as liver disease). In the heart disease, there CAD and ischemia. In the cancer, metastasis.

I started to think what could be enough general for all of these. In the energy sense, one possibility could be glycogen, since it is used as an acute energy storage in all those organs. Mechanisms could be the macro/microstructures of storage which are mostly unknown, presenting roughly 80/20 proportions. So I propose that the lack of energy causes those conditions.

I noticed that many authors use the word remnant cholesterol when speaking about the subject. I did not understand its biophysical meaning. Remnant cholesterol is an independent factor of cardiovascular manifestations apparently through the larger triglyceride-rich lipoproteins' (TRL) remnant kinetics. Remnant cholesterol does not seem to cover all aspects of low cholesterol.

How can you low cholesterol cause stroke, heart disease and cancer?

  • $\begingroup$ can you please clarify your question above? Especially the very last sentence where it says "how can you low cholesterol cause stroke… "– That doesn't even make any sense. Did you mean to say how can lower cholesterol cause stroke? Or, why would lowering cholesterol cost stroke? I'm not sure what you're talking about (?) Would be happy to take a stab at answering this question if I could understand what you're actually asking. $\endgroup$ Dec 8, 2015 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ @VanceLAlbaugh I attached the full title of the publication which says that low cholesterol is associated with mortality from stroke, heart disease and cancer. I think it is not only stroke that is associated with low cholesterol especially with elderly. Yes, you are right that the situation is caused by lowering cholesterol. $\endgroup$ Dec 8, 2015 at 7:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Cholesterol provides rigidity to plasma membrane and is also essential for certain cell-signalling pathways. $\endgroup$
    Dec 9, 2015 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


What you have asked for is a causal answer to correlated findings. There is no cause-effect evidence (at least from my searching) showing low cholesterol will indeed cause stroke. Associations like this are dangerous in the sense that we shouldn't think that one causes the other. But, we can speculate on how they are linked, which is always fun.

I'll be going off my understanding of cholesterol transport and will include the reference at the bottom. Essentially, cholesterol is used in the cell membrane to change the permeability of the membrane. The more cholesterol, the less permeable the membrane is to water. However, this also changes the physical properties of the cell membrane, making it more rigid and structured. If I had to guess (which is again PURE SPECULATION) I would think that decreasing the cholesterol to the point of a dangerous level would increase the cell permeability of vital cells, the most sensitive would be neurons who depend on ion based signaling to perform primary functions. Since ions are very small and easily pass through the membrane if the membrane is leaky, they might be the first indicator that the something is wrong and the membrane isn't strong enough. Again, purely speculative with no evidence. An experiment one could do is examine the amount of cholesterol required in a cell to keep ions from crossing the membrane and see if there are any other effects that occur within or around the cell before ion passing. If you aren't in this type of research yourself, maybe you can fund it!

Source= Cassarett and Doul's Essentials of Toxicology. Textbook, 12th edition

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting answer! I need to classify first how cholesterol presents in imaging. And also its subtypes. Do you know any 1D signals which has a high focus about cholesterol? $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2015 at 17:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I had an old professor (Bruce Hammock) that used to do mass spec quantification of lipid concentrations. Check out his papers. Here is also a paper for reference and good measure: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.06869.x/… $\endgroup$
    – ephackett
    Dec 10, 2015 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ Is there any raw data about these mass spectrometry results? Some 1D data. I want to characterize it my way. $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2015 at 18:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if there is any out there. Most mass spec data is priority classified due to the specific methodology each person uses. Aka. often most people don't post mass spec stuff because they don't want other people analyzing their data in a different way, thus generating a different result (one of the faults of mass spec). Your best bet is to look at publications and see if they added supplement info (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16458590 another ex). Or check the ncbi bioinformatics database $\endgroup$
    – ephackett
    Dec 10, 2015 at 18:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .