Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

December 18th, 2010

By Roni Caryn Rabin: Could HDL cholesterol — the good kind linked to lower heart disease risk — also protect people from dementia?

A new study reports that older New York City residents who had very high blood levels of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the so-called “good” cholesterol, were at less than half the risk of developing dementia over time than those with the lowest levels.

The people who reaped the benefit had very high HDL blood levels that exceeded 56 milligrams per deciliter of blood, the study reported. They developed 60 percent fewer cases of Alzheimer’s disease than people with the lowest HDL levels, of 38 milligrams or below. The differences between the two groups held even after the researchers adjusted the figures to account for other causal factors that influence the development of dementia, like vascular disease, as well as age, sex, education level and genes that predispose to Alzheimer’s.

“We think it’s a causal relationship,” said Dr. Christiane Reitz, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University’s Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain.  “At the baseline, when we recruited these people, they didn’t have cognitive problems. We followed them, and they developed dementia during the follow-up period.”


My comment: Raise HDL cholesterol with vigorous exercise, onion family vegetables, and omega-3 oils!  These oils are found in cold water fish, walnuts and kiwi.–Cathie Dunal

Ernestine at 74

August 25th, 2010

Ernestine Shepard was shopping for swimsuits with her sister in 1992 when they realized they weren’t in such great shape; so at the age of 56…Ernestine took her first aerobics class. Today she is 74, still running 80 miles a week, lifting free-weights, setting records and teaching classes.