Cholesterol: What’s the maximum safe dose?

Although there isn’t a standard maximum safe dose of cholesterol, limiting to 300 mg of cholesterol a day could help lower high blood cholesterol levels.

Health benefits of cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential for life molecule. It’s an important component of the cell membrane and plays a key role in the function of the nervous system. In fact, the brain is the most cholesterol-rich organ.[1]

Also, cholesterol is involved in the synthesis of vitamin D, steroid hormones, as well as sex hormones like testosterone and estrogens.

Moreover, cholesterol is necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.[2]

Why is too much cholesterol bad for health?

But, high cholesterol levels in the blood significantly increase the risk of atherosclerosis, coronary arterial disease, and stroke. Too much cholesterol gets trapped in arterial walls, building up plaque over time! Plaque narrows blood vessels and makes them less flexible.

What’s the maximum safe dose of cholesterol I can get in a day?

Actually, there hasn’t been established an upper safe dose of cholesterol.

The maximum safe dosage of cholesterol used to be 300 mg per day. But, according to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there isn’t a standard maximum dose of cholesterol.[3]

It seems that dietary cholesterol has a small effect on blood cholesterol levels. Limiting cholesterol consumption to the minimum is still considered important, though. A diet high in cholesterol may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

That’s because foods high in cholesterol are high in saturated fats as well.

Excessive consumption of saturated fatty acids can raise LDL-cholesterol in your blood, significantly increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Hence, the American Heart Association recommended consuming the minimum amount of saturated fats. The maximum safe dose of saturated fatty acids is only 13 g per a 2,000-calorie diet.[4]

If you want to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels, you should limit animal-based foods to the minimum. In contrast, eating a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, seeds, nuts, and beans is good for lowering your blood cholesterol levels.

Also, quit smoking, avoid alcohol drinking, maintain a healthy body weight, and start exercising in order to naturally lower elevated cholesterol levels.

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