Thyroid and Cholesterol

Thursday, August 14, 2008
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

It is well established in the scientific literature that subclinical hypothyroid as well as frank hypothyroid are associated with increased levels of total cholesterol1, LDL cholesterol2, and lipoprotein(a). 

Cholesterol is needed by every cell in your body.  In cases of sluggish thyroid function the metabolic pace of your cells is reduced, meaning that less cholesterol is needed.  As your LDL cholesterol (the UPS truck) attempts to make deliveries of cholesterol fragments to cells, there simply isn’t adequate demand because of the slower metabolic rate. 

This is another important angle on how cholesterol can become elevated.  Improving the metabolic rate of cells enables them to use cholesterol at a higher level, thereby lowering this specific cholesterol problem.

Of course, the longer LDL and lipoprotein(a) are elevated the more likely they are to form plaque.


Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Total Cholesterol Elevated in Subclinical Thyroid  Ann Saudi Med.   Turhan S, Sezer S, Erden G, Guctekin A, Ucar F, Ginis Z, Ozturk O, Bingol S.
  2. ^ LDL Cholesterol Elevated in Sluggish Thyroid  Clin Endocrinol (Oxf).  Walsh JP, Bremner AP, Bulsara MK, O’leary P, Leedman PJ, Feddema P, Michelangeli V.
  3. ^ Elevated Lipoprotein(a) in Subclinical Thyroid  Clin Endocrinol (Oxf).  Kung AW, Pang RW, Janus ED.

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