A new study published in the Archives of Neurology demonstrates a possible connection between high levels of HDL cholesterol and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease in senior citizens.
The study followed more than eleven hundred seniors with no history of any kind of dementia for a period of about four years. Subjects underwent a series of blood tests and tests on the brain once every eighteen months through the course of the study.
By the end of the four year study, just over a hundred participants had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The cholesterol levels of all participants were compared and researchers found that subjects who had the highest levels of HDL had the lowest risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Researchers have a number of theories about the connection, but were unable to determine exactly how increased levels of HDL cholesterol were able to reduce Alzheimer’s risk. Even if the exact connection between “good” cholesterol and dementia isn’t completely clear, there is plenty of evidence that keeping cholesterol in check has positive health benefits.
Consult your health care provider about simple changes that can be made to your diet to help raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. Your health care provider can also make suggestions for starting an appropriate physical fitness program that will help get you cholesterol in check to improve heart health and possibly brain health.