The Cholesterol and Alzheimer’s Connection

Incorporating this superfood into your diet may help lower cholesterol, which was found to be connected to Alzheimer's in a new study.

Alzheimer’s affects nearly five million people each year, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. In the past month, researchers have covered several new findings about how the body responds and may even prevent the disease from happening.

Just this week, a study published in the JAMA Neurology found a connection between high LDL and low HDL cholesterol levels and the presence of Alzheimer’s or dementia. About a fourth of our cholesterol levels reside in our brains, however it’s still not clear why the connection exists.

Among the subjects, with an average age of 78, having high levels of LDL-C “bad” cholesterol was closely linked to having more amyloid plaque deposits in those regions. On average, those with low levels of HDL cholesterol–the “good” cholesterol that at high levels is protective against cardiovascular disease–also had more amyloid plaque in their brains.

The researchers, from UC BerkeleyUC Davis and USC, found that other measures that physicians use to gauge a patient’s risk of heart attack or stroke–triglycerides and total cholesterol–had no clear relationship to amyloid plaques in the brain.”- Los Angeles Times, 12/30/13

Recently, there has been a shift in the medical community in the belief of what’s really behind cholesterol levels. For the longest time, saturated fat dubbed as the culprit of high LDL – giving foods like the coconut a bad name. Now, however, new findings are confirming fat, especially quality fats like coconut oil, are actually GOOD for our bodies and cholesterol levels. Some studies have found consuming coconut oil in moderation may help raise HDL and lower LDL. Read more about the cholesterol and coconut oil connection here.

More and more studies are being done now on how beneficial coconut oil is for the body. Most notably is the one being conducted right now at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Tampa, Florida. This first-of-its-kind clinical trial is looking at how coconut oil may help provide an alternative fuel to the brain and ease some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

We’re hoping for results of that study later this year.

-Michelle

The statements found throughout this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health condition or concern, consult a physician or your alternative health care provider. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing new exercises.

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