Good Cholesterol Prevents Alzheimers Disease? Can good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) prevent Alzheimer’s disease? Researchers from Columbia University in New York have found that “people over 65 who had the highest levels of high-density lipoprotein or HDL were 60 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over four years than people with the lowest HDL levels” (via Reuters).
The same study found that there is no difference on whether people’s HDL is naturally occurring or whether they took in drugs called statins to increase their good cholesterol levels. In both instance, those with higher HDL levels had lower Alzheimer’s.
The research, which was published in the Archives of Neurology, focused on 1,130 participants over 65 who were white, black or Hispanic. They were divided into four groups or quartiles based on their cholesterol readings. Those in the highest group had HDL readings of 55 or higher. Those in the lowest quartile had HDL below 38.
According to researcher Dr. Christiane Reitz, “The highest quartile compared to the lowest had a 60 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease over four years.” She told Reuters that if HDL levels are raised, “you can probably lower the frequency of Alzheimer’s disease in the population.”
Higher HDL levels can be achieved through healthy diet and regular exercise. Aside from preventing Alzheimers as this study suggests, high levels of good cholesterol (a reading of 60 or higher) can protect people against heart disease according to the American Heart Association.
It is worth noting that, according to the World Alzheimer Report 2010, an estimated 35.6 million people are living with dementia worldwide. This number is estimated to increase to 65.7 million by 2030 and to 115.4 million by 2050. About two in three of these dementia cases live in low and middle income countries.
For more mental health stories, check out our entry on the side effects of Latuda as well as the effectiveness of Reboxetine.
Good Cholesterol Prevents Alzheimers Disease? Posted 14 December 2010. Last updated 14 December 2010.