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Why too much ‘good’ cholesterol could be pretty bad for your brain

Why too much ‘good’ cholesterol could be pretty bad for your brain

MELBOURNE — Researchers have found a stunning hyperlink between excessive ranges of high-density lipoprotein ldl cholesterol (HDL-C) and an elevated danger of dementia in older people. This discovering challenges the long-held perception that top HDL-C, typically labeled as “good ldl cholesterol,” is solely useful for cardiovascular well being.

HDL-C is one a part of the ldl cholesterol profile in our our bodies. In contrast to its counterpart, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is commonly deemed dangerous, HDL-C is usually related to a decreased danger of heart disease. It really works by transporting ldl cholesterol from different components of your physique again to your liver, which removes it out of your physique.

The examine concerned individuals from the Aspirin in Lowering Occasions within the Aged (ASPREE) trial, specializing in older people with out earlier cardiovascular illnesses or extreme power situations. These individuals, from each Australia and the U.S., have been initially cognitively wholesome. They underwent regular health check-ups, together with measurements of HDL-C ranges and assessments for dementia.

Key takeaways:

  • Examine Focus: Examined the link between high-density lipoprotein ldl cholesterol (HDL-C) ranges and dementia danger in older adults.
  • Background: HDL-C, referred to as “good ldl cholesterol,” historically related to decrease heart problems danger.
  • The Outcomes: A big affiliation was discovered between very excessive HDL-C ranges and an elevated danger of dementia, particularly in these aged 75 and older.
  • Difficult Earlier Beliefs: This examine challenges the normal view that larger HDL-C ranges are universally useful.
  • Public Well being Implications: Suggests a necessity for re-evaluating HDL-C degree pointers, particularly for older adults.

Outcomes that individuals with very excessive ranges of fine ldl cholesterol (over 80 mg/dL) had a 27% larger risk of developing dementia in comparison with these with reasonable HDL-C ranges. This affiliation was notably pronounced in people aged 75 and above. Notably, the examine discovered that the danger of dementia elevated nearly linearly with rising HDL-C ranges.

These findings contradict the traditional view that larger HDL-C ranges are at all times advantageous. Whereas good ldl cholesterol is beneficial in moderate amounts, at very excessive ranges, it appears to have a detrimental impact, particularly regarding cognitive well being.

Cholesterol test -- results show high cholesterol
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING: Including extra HDL ldl cholesterol to your weight-reduction plan can enhance your well being, however excessive ranges may result in dementia. © jarun011 – inventory.adobe.com)

Why is HDL ldl cholesterol linked to dementia?

The explanations behind this affiliation are nonetheless unclear. It’s speculated that at very excessive ranges, HDL-C would possibly change structurally, affecting its perform and doubtlessly resulting in well being points, together with dementia. Nonetheless, extra analysis is required to grasp the underlying mechanisms.

“Whereas we all know HDL ldl cholesterol is important for cardiovascular well being, this examine means that we want additional analysis to grasp the function of very excessive HDL ldl cholesterol within the context of brain health,” says first creator and Monash College Faculty of Public Well being and Preventive Drugs senior analysis fellow Dr. Monira Hussain, in a press release. “It could be useful to think about very excessive HDL levels of cholesterol in prediction algorithms for dementia danger.”

These findings, revealed in The Lancet Regional Health – Western Pacific, are essential as they recommend that maintaining HDL-C ranges inside a sure vary is likely to be extra useful, particularly for older adults. Additionally they spotlight the necessity for extra nuanced pointers relating to ldl cholesterol administration.

Key sources of ‘good ldl cholesterol’

Fatty fish: Fatty fish, similar to salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and tuna, are wealthy in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to boost HDL ranges. Omega-3 fatty acids additionally assist to decrease LDL ldl cholesterol and triglycerides, each of that are thought of “unhealthy” ldl cholesterol.

Olive oil: Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat, which may also help to boost HDL ranges. Monounsaturated fat may also assist to decrease LDL ldl cholesterol and triglycerides.

Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds, similar to almonds, walnuts, pistachios, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, are good sources of fiber and wholesome fat, each of which may also help to boost HDL ranges.

Avocados: Avocados are a superb supply of monounsaturated fat and fiber, each of which may also help to boost HDL ranges.

Complete grains: Complete grains, similar to oats, brown rice, and quinoa, are a superb supply of fiber, which may also help to decrease LDL ldl cholesterol. Whole grains may also assist to boost HDL ranges.

Legumes: Legumes, similar to beans, lentils, and peas, are a superb supply of fiber and protein, each of which may also help to decrease LDL ldl cholesterol. Legumes may also assist to boost HDL ranges.

Along with consuming a nutritious diet, there are different way of life adjustments that may assist to boost HDL ranges, similar to regular exercise, quitting smoking, and sustaining a wholesome weight.