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Low Levels of Good Cholesterol Linked to Alzheimer’s

By Raoul Railey
July 3rd 2008

A study made by researchers at the University College in London and the National Institute for Health and Medical Research in France has found that low levels of HDL (high density lipoproteins), also known as good cholesterol, are linked to memory loss. The study has been carried out on over 3000 middle-aged British men and women.

The people included in the study were collected blood samples to measure the levels of HDL, LDL, also known as the bad cholesterol, and triglycerides. They were also read 20 words and asked to write as many of them as they could remember in a 2 minutes period of time in order to test their short term memory.

The study discovered that persons with a low level HDL were 27 percent more likely to have memory losses than other people. The tests were repeated at age 61 and showed that the same people would face a greater risk of their condition becoming worse.

Even though the tests haven’t shown that low levels of good cholesterol actually cause memory loss or Alzheimer’s, scientists gave a few possible explanations as to why this could happen. As HDL reduces the chance of heart diseases and vascular problems, the brain might be protected too, thus reducing the damage that could lead to developing Alzheimer’s. Another explanation would be that the good cholesterol might facilitate brain-to-nerve connections.

As the population of our planet is getting older and older, with the highest growing segment being the 65+ one, a dramatic increase in the number of Alzheimer’s diagnosed persons is expected. The good news is that HDL levels can be controlled by diet, nutritional supplements and regular exercise.

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