Bad Cholesterol Promotes Amyloid Plaques In Brain

A study from the University of California, Davis, found that low levels of bad LDL cholesterol and high levels of good HDL cholesterol are linked to lower levels of amyloid plaque in the brain. Accumulation of amyloid plaque is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The research is published in the the journal JAMA Neurology.

“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., said Bruce Reed, lead study author and associate director of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Although the relationship between elevated cholesterol and increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease has been known for some time, the study is the first to specifically link cholesterol to amyloid deposits in living human study participants.

The researchers weren’t able to identify any associations between participant use of cholesterol medication and amyloid levels. The biological connection between blood cholesterol levels and amyloid plaque in the brain is still unclear. However, people must be careful with statins, because they can promote Alzheimer’s disease.

Meanwhile, it is becoming very clear that cholesterol is pervasive in the brain, and that it plays a critical role both in nerve transport in the synapse and in maintaining the health of the myelin sheath coating nerve fibers. Oils in almonds, coconuts and walnuts, for example, help increase the levels of good cholesterol in our bodies.

Several factors can influence the onset of neurodegenerative disease, including head trauma, nutrition and genetics. However, An extremely high-fat (ketogenic) diet has been found to improve cognitive ability in Alzheimer’s patients. These and other observations lead some researchers to believe that both a low-fat diet and statin drug treatment increase susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease.

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Gary Chandler is a prion expert. He is the CEO of Crossbow Communications, author of several books and producer of documentaries about health and environmental issues around the world. Chandler is connecting the dots to the global surge in neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and other forms of prion disease.