A recent study published in The Archives of Neurology found that having higher HDL or good cholesterol may lower one’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Although doctors don’t agree on just how much a healthy heart can protect against Alzheimer’s disease, most do believe there is a connection between the two. With a staggering one out of every five Americans reporting high bad cholesterol levels, these findings can be significant.
The belief is that excess bad cholesterol in the blood leads to increased bad cholesterol in the brain, and that increased production of cholesterol in the brain promotes production of plaques, which cause Alzheimer’s.
Guidelines for cholesterol recommend that men raise HDL levels that are under 40 mg/dL and that women increase HDL numbers under 50 mg/dL. An HDL of 60 mg/dL or higher with a total cholesterol level of under 200 is optimal.
It is also believed that high blood pressure (above 140/90) increases the risk of Alzheimer’s by damaging blood vessels. The blood vessels become stiffer and this may lead to a decrease in the nutrients that can get to the brain and feed cells in the brain.
Medications and lifestyle changes that have been used to promote heart health may protect brain health as well.
Live Free Home Healthcare’s caregivers are well trained in preparing tasty and nutritious meals for someone trying to lower his or her cholesterol level. They can also assist with activity and exercise as well as provide medication reminders. Providing in-home care services in Concord, New Hampshire and the rest of the Lakes region and Central New Hampshire, contact us today to learn how we can assist.
For more heart health tips, click here.