[This article first appeared in: Dementia Newsletter RWHT Volume 1 Issue 6 January 2011].
High levels of so-called “good” cholesterol appear to protect against Alzheimer’s Disease in addition to being good for the heart. People over 65 who have the highest levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) have been found to be 60 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease (over a four-year period) than people with lower HDL levels. The data analysis in this study takes into account differences in age, sex, education, ethnic group, and APOE e4 genotype.
It appears to make no difference whether people have high HDL levels naturally or if they take statins to increase “good” cholesterol levels.
By raising HDL, “you can probably lower the frequency of Alzheimer’s disease in the population,” said Dr. Christiane Reitz of Columbia University.
Reitz, C. Tang, MX. [and] Schupf, N. [et al] (2010). Association of Higher Levels of High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Elderly Individuals and Lower Risk of Late-Onset Alzheimer Disease. Archives of Neurology, December 13th 2010, Vol.67(12), pp.1491-1497.