How Good Cholesterol May Help Lower Your Alzheimer’s Risk
Blood cholesterol is a waxy substance. Scientists generally divide cholesterol into LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol). In addition to causing blockages in arteries, LDL cholesterol also contributes to heart disease. As opposed to low-density lipoprotein (LDL), HDL cholesterol absorbs and breaks down fats in the bloodstream. But is there a connection between blood cholesterol levels and Alzheimer’s? New research offers insight into good cholesterol and Alzheimer’s. Study results showed that small amounts of HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, in cerebrospinal fluid increase Alzheimer’s disease risk. Studies have found a link between lower Alzheimer’s disease risk and higher levels of small HDL.
How Does Cholesterol Affect Alzheimer’s?
The “good cholesterol,” HDL (high-density lipoproteins), protects you by removing cholesterol from your body through your liver. Researchers believe HDL may also lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by improving brain health. Before the onset of mental impairment, these oils — or small HDL particles — lubricate the system and keep it healthy.
According to research, two key signs are that people with more small HDL particles in their cerebrospinal fluid are more protected against Alzheimer’s.
One of these signs is better performance on cognitive tests later in life.
Participants taking the cognitive tests performed better than their peers when their cerebrospinal fluid contained more small HDL particles. Furthermore, these seniors scored higher regardless of age, sex, education, or genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, the peptide amyloid-beta 42 levels are associated with the number of HDL particles.
When amyloid-beta 42 folds improperly, it can stick to brain cells and form plaques, contributing to Alzheimer’s disease.
However, when amyloid-beta 42 is present in the brain and spinal fluid, it can reduce Alzheimer’s risk. According to experts, HDL may help remove the peptides that cause amyloid plaques.
As a result of their findings, experts believe that the mechanisms promoting small HDL formation in the brain may prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, this study is an early attempt that needs further exploration.
How Can I Raise My Good Cholesterol Naturally?
HDL acts as a vacuum cleaner for cholesterol to lower your risk of developing heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. A healthy lifestyle can help boost HDL levels. Exercise is a good example. Aim to have at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. Besides, regular physical exercise may be beneficial when it comes to reducing Alzheimer’s risk and vascular dementia risks. Exercise can directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain.
Other dietary and lifestyle modifications that can raise HDL cholesterol levels and may prevent dementia:
- Choose better fats.
- Lose extra weight and aim to have a normal BMI range.
- Stop smoking.
- Have more whole grains and nuts.
- Add high-fibre fruit to your diet.
- Take care of your digestive system.
- Eliminate trans fats.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation.
Speak with a healthcare expert before starting any supplementation or changing your diet.
Lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to reduce cholesterol LDL levels. If you have any prescribed medication, maintain your lifestyle changes while taking the medication prescribed by your doctor to lower your cholesterol.
What Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s?
The global Alzheimer’s research community is exploring ways to prevent Alzheimer’s. Although there are no definitive answers to prevent Alzheimer’s risk at this time, research shows that we can reduce our risk.
An increased risk of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
Taking steps to improve cardiovascular health may reduce the risk of developing these conditions and other serious problems, including strokes and heart attacks. You may be able to prevent dementia by taking these steps:
- Get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week (such as cycling or fast walking), or as much as you can.
- Maintain a balanced diet, including at least five servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
- Aim to maintain healthy blood pressure through regular health checks.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Maintain a healthy diet and take your medicine if you have diabetes.
- Stay mentally and socially active.
What Foods Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s According to Science?
Is it possible to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease by eating a specific food? In many studies, eating habits are related to how well we remember and think as we age. As a result of these findings, researchers are investigating whether eating patterns make a difference in physical health.
Brain changes can occur years before Alzheimer’s symptoms appear. There may be a window of opportunity to prevent or delay dementia symptoms by addressing these early brain changes. Scientists are exploring various methods, such as using drugs, changing lifestyles, and combining these methods. We can control lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and cognitive training, unlike other risk factors for Alzheimer’s, such as age and genetics. Read here on Supplements to prevent dementia.
What is The Best Diet to Prevent Alzheimer’s’?
According to current research, heart-healthy eating may help to protect the brain. Consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is essential to heart-healthy eating. However, there is no perfect diet. Studies have shown that DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and Mediterranean diets may reduce Alzheimer’s risk.
Can Mediterranean Diet Prevent Dementia?
The traditional meals that people in the Mediterranean Sea region eat are the foundation of the Mediterranean diet. The researchers found that these individuals were remarkably healthy and had a minimal risk of developing various chronic diseases. The diet does not have any set rules or restrictions, but it usually promotes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and heart-healthy fats. Refined grains, processed meals, and added sugar should all be limited.
Studies have linked Mediterranean diets and other healthy eating patterns with cognitive benefits. Still, the evidence is not as strong as other interventions like physical activity, blood pressure, and mental training. To find out if these diets can prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline due to aging, researchers are currently rigorously testing them. Read here on Mediterranean diet prevents dementia.
There is no proof that you can prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia by increasing good cholesterol levels. However, a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet can improve overall health and reduce Alzheimer’s risk. The most important thing is to consult your doctor if you have any concerns.
I remember my grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, slowly losing her memories and ability to recognize her loved ones. It was heartbreaking to see her struggle, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. That’s why I’m grateful for studies like this one that gives us hope for preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s. It also reminds us of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, to keep our bodies and minds in the best possible shape. I hope that more research will continue to shed light on ways we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from this devastating disease.
My grandmother and great-aunt both suffered from the disease, and it’s always been a fear of mine that I, too, may be at risk. However, learning about the possible link between higher levels of HDL cholesterol and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s gives me hope that there may be ways to reduce my risk. Of course, there’s still much more research to be done in this area, but it’s a promising start. In the meantime, I’ll be focusing on ways to improve my overall heart health, such as getting regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. Thank you for sharing this vital information!