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Are you at serious risk for Alzheimer’s? A study at the University of California Davis (UC Davis) shows that certain substances in your blood may signal that your brain’s in danger.
The researchers found that your cholesterol profile mirrors your Alzheimer’s risk. Too little HDL (good cholesterol) and too much LDL (bad cholesterol) may mean that you face an unhealthy chance of Alzheimer’s as you age. But if you can increase your HDL and drop your LDL, your brain health should improve.
“Our study shows that both higher levels of HDL — good — and lower levels of LDL — bad — cholesterol in the bloodstream are associated with lower levels of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain,” says researcher Bruce Reed, associate director of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center. “Unhealthy patterns of cholesterol could be directly causing the higher levels of amyloid known to contribute to Alzheimer’s, in the same way that such patterns promote heart disease.”
Exercising and eating more fruits and vegetables can help improve your cholesterol balance.
“If modifying cholesterol levels in the brain early in life turns out to reduce amyloid deposits late in life, we could potentially make a significant difference in reducing the prevalence of Alzheimer’s, a goal of an enormous amount of research and drug development effort,” says Reed.