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To Everything There is a Season--Even Cholesterol

In 1968, The Zombies made it to #3 on the Billboard charts with a song that reminded listeners it was "the time of the season for loving." It's highly unlikely that any group is going to top the musical charts writing about the following subject, but a new study suggests that winter may not be the best "time of the season" when it comes to high cholesterol levels.

Researchers examined 517 healthy people over a 12-month period, documenting their cholesterol levels, diet, activity, exposure to light, and general behavior. While there were no significant changes in diet and calorie intake, cholesterol levels varied an average of 3.9 points per season in men, with a peak increase in December; in women, seasonal cholesterol levels varied as much as 5.4 points, peaking in January. Overall, 22 percent more participants had total cholesterol levels of 240 or higher (considered high cholesterol) in the winter than in the summer. According to the researchers, the changes in blood cholesterol levels were due in large part to seasonal changes in blood plasma volume, which resulted from changes in temperature and/or physical activity levels between the winter and summer months.

Now that you know the affect of the seasons, have your cholesterol checked. And talk to your doctor of chiropractic about ways to change your diet or increase your activity levels year round.


Ockene IS, Chiriboga DE, Stanek EJ, et al. Seasonal variation in serum cholesterol levels. Archives of Internal Medicine, April 26, 2004;164:863-870.

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