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The Link Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Cholesterol Imbalance Just Grew Stronger


6a0134860e42be970c0154358dd345970c-400wi Researchers from the University of California Davis have found another significant factor linking cholesterol ratios and Alzheimer’s disease. Publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, scientists explain how both high levels of HDL cholesterol and low levels of LDL cholesterol — what we should be shooting for — are associated with lower accumulations of the amyloid brain plaque that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The team found that similar cholesterol levels considered to be in the “risky range” by ratio promote the development of Alzheimer’s amyloid plaques found in virtually all diagnosed cases of the memory-robbing illness.

Imbalanced HDL/LDL Cholesterol Levels Significantly Increase Amyloid Brain Plaque Deposits

Following up on long-term evidence showing a correlation between raised levels of cholesterol and Alzheimer’s disease incidence, researchers developed a cohort of 74 men and women, aged 70 years or more that included three people with mild dementia, 38 with mild cognitive impairment, and 33 who were cognitively normal. All the participants had fasting blood tests and underwent brain PET scans where amyloid plaques were highlighted using a radioactive tracer that binds to them.

After analyzing participant blood tests and scans, researchers found a direct relationship between reduced levels of HDL cholesterol, increased levels of LDL cholesterol and development of amyloid brain plaque formation. Lead study author, Dr. Bruce Reed noted, “Unhealthy patterns of cholesterol could be directly causing the higher levels of amyloid known to contribute to Alzheimer’s, in the same way that such patterns promote heart disease.” The scientists found that people can improve their chances of keeping their brains healthy later in life by not only controlling their blood pressure, but also by controlling their cholesterol ratios.

Limit Fatty Fried Foods and Excess Sugar to Limit Amyloid Plaque Development in the Brain

Volumes of current research now clearly demonstrate that Alzheimer’s disease, though influenced to a small degree by genetic predisposition, is largely caused by a confluence of lifestyle indiscretions over the course of one’s early and mid-life years. Prior studies have shown that a diet consisting of hydrogenated fats, processed carbohydrates and sugary treats rapidly accelerate the onset and progression of the disease, especially in those with familial genetic traits. Lack of physical activity, smoking, exposure to environmental and household pollutants as well as nutritional deficiencies all play a role in promoting an early Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Dr. Reed concluded that “modifying cholesterol levels in the brain early in life can reduce amyloid deposits late in life… we could potentially make a significant difference in reducing the prevalence of Alzheimer’s.” Supporting studies have stressed the importance of lowering oxidized LDL cholesterol levels by drastically limiting hydrogenated and trans fat foods along with sugary treats and processed carbohydrates to improve cholesterol ratios and heart disease risk. Undoubtedly this same strategy supports optimal brain health and can lower Alzheimer’s disease risk.

John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and diet, health and nutrition researcher and author with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives. Discover the latest alternative health news concerning diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and weight loss at My Optimal Health Resource

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One response to “The Link Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Cholesterol Imbalance Just Grew Stronger”

  1. Susan Walling says:

    I am 75+ yrs. old. My Cholesterol is well over 300 & has been for the last few years. My Interniast, (Dr. Charina Tecson) who was named “One of the Top Internists in the USA” in 2008), is wonderful & I love her ! She is very worried. Statins, taken for a month cause my legs to ache & not move well. (ie I have to lift my legs in & out of the car). I have tried Red Yeast Rice to no avail. (For about a year or more.) In reading your email, I will go to the compounding pharmacist & my regular one & see if I am taking the right CoQ10 & Red Yeast Rice. My Endocrinologist seems to be perfectly happy w my numbers.She, too, is a well known doctor ! I have had cancer since 1973, I have Fibromyalgia, TMJ problems, Osteo Arthritis, & Gerd, I seem to have everything else under control, & am on a very strict diet – no glutens, no dairy, no sugar, llittle salt, red meat, no alcohol, no citrus, no tomatoes, to smoking, etc. I have v. difficult arthritis in my feet which has kept me from much excercise, but have joined a gym & am getting around that. I an v. active – still live alone – drive – run my small Antique/art business, etc.

    Any ideas other than checking on the correct type of Red Yeast Rice & CoQ10??