Normal Cholesterol Range

Healthy Cholesterol Range

Normal cholesterol range is a topic that I am quite passionate about.  You see, I have high cholesterol and no matter my diet, it remains in the above normal range. 

Your total blood cholesterol is a measure of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.  There are other components such as VLDL but I won't confuse you with these details because generally, they are not discussed in terms you and I can easily understand. 

Doctors recommend total cholesterol levels below 200.  This number has progressively gotten lower as heart disease increases. There was a time when 240 was the "magic number".


Yes, you read that correctly.  Heart disease has increased dramatically since the recommendations based on the flawed lipid hypothesis was forced on the American people without further peer review. 

You see, one Man's hypothesis has dictated our outlook and education on heart disease since the 1950's and specifically, Senator George McGovern’s Dietary Goals for the United States in 1977. 

There was once a time when animal fats and their proteins were consumed freely without the fear of the dreaded "heart disease" yet, heart disease is the number one killer of Americans today. 

What is a normal cholesterol range?  This information depends....what is your normal?

Are you affected by any of the following?

  • Inflammation of the gut
  • Immune mediated inflammation
  • Inflammation anywhere in the body
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Virus
  • Bacteria
  • Family history
  • Alcoholism
  • Smoking
  • Age (yes, your cholesterol increases as you age as a protector)

This is much more complex a subject than just a number.  Your normal cholesterol range has two definitive number ranges that you should strive for and be aware of. 

  • HDL or good cholesterol-40 and above for Men and 50 and above for Women
  • Triglycerides or the fat in your blood-150 or below for both Men & Women

The third number on the other hand is a wild card if you will.  I say wild card because there are more components to this third number than just that of:

  • LDL or bad cholesterol-100 or less for both Men and Women

This number is purpoted to be the healthiest when your readings are below 100.  Though is this really the case?  Tim Russert, correspondent on 60 minutes had an LDL reading of 70 and collapsed of a heart attack at the very young age of 58. 

"Doctors now know that approximately 50% of people who had heart attacks have had "normal" cholesterol numbers at the time.  This has caused many doctors to look for answers beyond cholesterol"

~Michael Richman MD, FACS, FCCP

This is the "simple" answer though and through a bit of research, the more pressing information to understand about your normal cholesterol range is the LDL particle count as explained by lipidologist, Thomas Dayspring MD, FACP. If you are concerned about your cholesterol numbers and heart disease or if you are afraid to take a cholesterol lowering drug based on the widely reported side effects, I encourage you to print out the PDF I refer to above for your physician to review. You can also direct him/her to the following websites and blogs. You might be surprised to hear that while it is customary, your physician might not be staying updated on current journals. The first site you will land on is one of my most trusted references on the subject of human health. Chris Kresser has spent thousands of hours researching the subject of cholesterol and has come up with an action plan so that you may make the best decision for your health.
  • Learn exactly what to do (or not to do) about high cholesterol
  • Look for the High Cholesterol Action Plan to the right of the Chris Kresser website.
  • Dr. Thomas Dayspring MD, FACP
  • Dr. Chris Masterjohn, PHD
  • Dr.’s Stephen Sinatra & Jonny Bowden
  • Many references are made to the benefit of cholesterol.  In fact, one should be alarmed if cholesterol is low! 

    Published in the journal Circulation in 1992, a conclusion was made that low cholesterol is more dangerous than high cholesterol for women. 

    A 1989 Parisian study published in The Lancet found that those who live the longest are old women with very high cholesterol levels.  Women with very low levels had a death rate over five times higher! 

    An interesting conclusion was made more recently in the British Medical Journal in 2003 at the University of British Columbia that statin drugs, which lower cholesterol, offer no benefit to women for preventing heart disease. 

    Again, what is your normal cholesterol range?

    “When cholesterol levels fall below 200 mg/dl, your immune function is suppressed and there may be negative health effects.  As your cholesterol levels drop, your risk of dying from cancer and infectious disease increases dramatically”

    ~Paul Jaminet, Phd Perfect Health Diet

    Cholesterol most certainly carries more benefit than risk and understanding the role of cholesterol in your body is important:

    • Cholesterol Protects Against Infection
    • Builds Hormones
    • Protects And Responds To Injury
    • Necessary Component in Making Vitamin D, A Sterol Hormone
    • Works as an Antioxidant
    • Protects Against Infection
    • Elevates Function of Serotonin Receptors
    • Maintains Health of the Intestinal Wall
    • Bile Salts are Made from Cholesterol

    What are the factors at play that change or increase your particle numbers as well as increase your triglycerides? That's an easy answer and the good news?  You are in total control by practicing my recommendations on Phase I or Phase II obtaining normal cholesterol levels.  

    Refined carbohydrates, vegetable oils, trans fatty or hydrogenated fats and for the metabolically deranged, grains. 

    Fat is a protector and as a matter of fact, when cholesterol is reduced on the plate, the liver compensates by increasing the output. 

    Would you be surprised to hear that Plant Sterols can cause plaque in the arteries? This would certainly contradict the evidence that a plant based diet as promoted by the PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)
    Return to top of Normal Cholesterol Range

    Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below