Low serum cholesterol and serotonin metabolism

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7041.1298b (Published 18 May 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1298

Results may have been affected by confounding

  1. Hanno Pijl,
  2. Arnoud C Toornvliet,
  3. A Edo Meinders,
  4. Jan A Gevers Leuven,
  5. G M J Van Kempen
  1. Senior investigator PhD student Professor of general internal medicine Department of General Internal Medicine, Leiden University Hospital, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, Netherlands
  2. Senior investigator Gaubius Laboratory, TNO-PG, PO Box 2215, 2301 CE Leiden, Netherlands
  3. Professor of biochemical aspects of psychiatry Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University, 2340 BG Oegstgeest, Netherlands

    EDITOR,—Paul H A Steegmans and colleagues report that plasma concentrations of serotonin are lower in men with persistently low serum cholesterol concentrations than in a reference group of men. They point out that this indicates that low serum cholesterol concentrations are associated with altered metabolism of serotonin, which could explain the observed association between low serum cholesterol concentrations and suicide.1

    We believe that their finding may be confounded by at least two factors. Firstly, more than 95% of serotonin in plasma is in platelets. …

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