Maintaining optimal cholesterol levels is at the top of the list when it comes to the proactive steps you can take for a healthy heart.
But what if I told you that staying on top of your cholesterol can work wonders for other parts of your body…
… Like your BRAIN?
Believe it or not, a study has found that ‘boosting’ a specific type of cholesterol can help protect your brain and potentially help fend off the progression of Alzheimer’s disease!
Increased HDL Cholesterol Prevents Development of Alzheimer’s?
If you’ve ever gotten a cholesterol test, there are two readings you pay close attention to…
- Your LDL levels – this is the “bad” cholesterol that can lead to the development and buildup of plaque on the walls of your arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease.
- And your HDL levels – this is the “good” cholesterol that helps your body clean up excess fat in your bloodstream. The higher your HDL levels… the better.
Now, according to a study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, boosting your HDL levels could potentially offer some protection against developing Alzheimer’s disease.
You see, increased levels of HDL cholesterol spread throughout the body to help clean out damaging plaques – including in the brain.
And as this study found, higher levels of HDL led to the “clearance and excretion of the peptides that form the amyloid plaques” – a warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
To be clear, upping your HDL cholesterol isn’t a ‘cure’ for Alzheimer’s. But this discovery about the benefits of increased HDL did lead study authors to note that this could be a powerful preventive weapon against Alzheimer’s.
More human studies continue to be done on the link between HDL cholesterol and brain health.
In the meantime, taking steps to boost your HDL levels now will go a long way to maintaining your overall health as you age.
One of the best things you can do is to eat more healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil. A study of older adults found that consuming olive oil for six weeks led to an increase in HDL cholesterol.
And olive oil is full of vitamins E and K, which have been found to support a healthy brain.
Olive oil is calorie-dense, so a drizzle on your favorite salad or a tablespoon as cooking oil is all you need on a daily basis.
If you have high cholesterol, be sure to talk to your doctor about your optimal HDL levels.
Melore, Chris. “‘Good’ cholesterol may keep people from developing Alzheimer’s disease.” 4/13/22. https://www.studyfinds.org/good-cholesterol-alzheimers/
Kubala, Jillian. “9 ways to increase your HDL cholesterol levels.” 5/14/20. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318598#_noHeaderPrefixedContent
Meldrum, Allison. “How Extra Virgin Olive Oil Boosts Mental Wellness.” 1/24/22. https://morocco-gold.com/how-does-olive-oil-benefit-your-mental-health/