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Good cholesterol is key to a healthy brain

For 20 years a research unit at the University of Melbourne has been studying women’s brains as they age, looking for clues as to what we can do to avoid dementia. Having good levels of HDL cholesterol seems to be important.

HDL cholesterol — the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol — carries cholesterol from around the body to the liver, where it’s broken down and removed.

This research, known as the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project, has shown a link between low levels of HDL cholesterol and greater amounts of brain damage in later life.

Cholesterol appears to alter the structure of the brain. 

While the usual focus on cholesterol is about lowering LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, there’s rarely much talk about ensuring healthy levels of HDL (i.e. at least 1.6 mmol/L). 

The way we do that is through regular exercise, not smoking and eating an unprocessed diet.

Two-thirds of people with dementia are women, and these findings reinforce that there’s a lot we can do to prevent it.

Photo Source: Bigstock

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Sunday, October 28, 2018 | Rhonda Anderson