Thursday, January 16, 2014

High HDL AND low LDL prevent Alzheimer's disease....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 1-16-2014

1. The study has promise!

A study from the University of California-Davis, found that low levels LDL cholesterol AND high levels of HDL cholesterol are both associated with significantly lower levels of amyloid plaque in the brain.

(The press release version I saw seemed to say their data showed that high HDL helped do this and so did low LDL.  But it did not report the people separately that individually had both high HDL and low LDL had the least build up and compare them to people with the reverse.  Their data does probably show this.  But it would have been nice to see that definitely stated which this version of their press release did not have in it.)

"Our study shows that both higher levels of HDL and lower levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream are associated with lower levels of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain," the study's lead author, Bruce Reed, associate director of the UC-Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center, said in the news release.

"Unhealthy patterns of cholesterol could be directly causing the higher levels of amyloid known to contribute to Alzheimer's, in the same way that such patterns promote heart disease," Reed said.

The study, which was published in the online edition of the journal JAMA Neurology, involved 74 men and women recruited from California stroke clinics, support groups, senior-citizen facilities and the UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center. All of the participants were aged 70 or older. Of this group, three people had mild dementia, 33 had no problems with brain function and 38 had mild impairment of their brain function.

The investigators used brain scans to measure the participants' amyloid levels. The study revealed that higher fasting levels of LDL cholesterol and lower levels of HDL cholesterol both were associated with more accumulation of amyloid plaque in the brain.

HDL cholesterol should be 60 mg/dL or higher, the researchers said in the news release. LDL cholesterol should be 70 mg/dL or lower for those at very high risk for heart disease.

"It also suggests a method of lowering amyloid levels in people who are middle-aged, when such build-up is just starting," Reed said in the news release.

"If modifying cholesterol levels in the brain early in life turns out to reduce amyloid deposits late in life, we could potentially make a significant difference in reducing the prevalence of Alzheimer's, a goal of an enormous amount of research and drug-development effort," he said.

2.  My comments & what the best use of this information is and why:

a)You can create the optimum conditions to create this low amyloid build up condition with lifestyle changes and do NOT need drugs to do it.

b) Statin drugs lower LDL cholesterol.  Might they be helpful to create these optimum conditions?
Not at all!  In fact, research has established that statins tend to do the reverse instead and should NOT be used for this purpose.

a)You can create the optimum conditions to create this low amyloid build up condition with lifestyle changes and do NOT need drugs to do it.

Here’s what those lifestyle upgrades are and why they look very likely to help create the high HDL and low LDL conditions AND prevent Alzheimer’s disease in other ways.


LDL cholesterol tends to damage your blood vessels and compromise blood flow in three ways. So generally less is protective.

The kind of LDL that caused heart disease the most is the small particle LDL.  It’s literally so tiny it acts like pro-inflammatory glue particles that penetrate the blood vessel walls.

If total LDL is low, under 100, there is likely less of this kind of LDL than at higher readings. So low LDL tends to be protective.  But there are 3 things more important to look at that involve LDL. 

This kind of small particle LDL is so harmful in fact, it is far more important to lower this kind of LDL than it is to lower total LDL.  (Normally the larger particle LDL is like fluffy tumbleweeds that your blood harmlessly sweeps along.)

This is where the high HDL comes in because work done at Harvard found that if HDL is high and triglycerides are low it indicates that small particle LDL is low.  Conversely if HDL is low and particularly if triglycerides are quite high, small particle LDL is high.  And you can use the ratio between HDL and triglycerides as a very close approximation to what you get if you test for small particle LDL directly.

So the three things that would be good to know are what lowers small particle LDL that has been directly tested to do so?

What increases or decreases HDL and what decreases or increases triglycerides?  That’s the other two.

Two things that have been directly tested to cause high and low levels of small particle LDL:

Daily exercise, particularly vigorous or moderately or a bit higher intensity exercise, done most days of every week for a long time slashes the level of small particle LDL.

Eating ANY daily amount of hydrogenated oils for more than two or three days directly increases small particle LDL.

People who do those kinds of exercises and never eat hydrogenated oils in short are quite likely to have both high HDL and low triglycerides AND test as having low levels of small particle LDL.

Think it’s OK to never exercise and eat hydrogenated oils every day?  Many people do both.  This study shows that this is setting them up to begin developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The second kind of LDL that’s harmful to have more of is when blood sugars are too high because that adds sugar spikes to both kinds of LDL including the normally safe larger particles.  Then when they move through your blood they slash at harm and even destroy the blood vessel surfaces they travel over.  So if someone has high blood sugar, turning down all their LDL is protective.

But there are two pieces of good news on this one. 

The same kind of exercise that lowers small particle LDL helps prevent or turn off this high blood sugar problem!

And besides lack of such exercise, eating high fructose corn syrup, way too much real sugar and very many grains-- particularly eating refined grain wheat products both causes these blood sugar problems AND it lowers HDL and boosts triglycerides way high.

Remember what that means?  Not exercising and eating that junk boosts the dickens out of small particle LDL AND add sugar spikes to even large particle LDL!

How is that good news?

It means that to have this Alzheimer’s protective effect, in addition to doing regular and vigorous exercise, just about totally stopping those foods and ingesting drinks containing them and eating health OK protein foods, oils, vegetables, beans, spices, and some fresh fruit instead  will be a VERY effective lever to protect you.

AND separate studies show that these foods and the blood sugar spikes they cause ALSO directly cause Alzheimer’s disease.

So exercising and only eating real foods with hardly any grains and only eating occasional sugary treats with real sugar only prevents Alzheimer’s disease TWO ways. 

It removes the harmful sugar spikes from your large particle LDL and it hammers down the amount of small particle LDL!

The next thing to look at is tobacco smoke and nicotine.  They both strongly reduce HDL AND increase LDL!  This means no one who wants to escape Alzheimer’s should smoke or allow themselves to be exposed to second hand smoke.

(Note that this also means once you quit smoking it’s then very important to then also stop using any nicotine replacements.

AND it means that e-cigarettes are also harmful to users in this way AND to people exposed to them.  THAT in turn means that no smoking areas should include e-cigarettes despite the lower cancer risk they pose.)

b) Statin drugs lower LDL cholesterol.  Might they be helpful to create these optimum conditions?
Not at all!  In fact, research has established that statins tend to do the reverse instead and should NOT be used for this purpose.

I already knew that statins tended to cause the very kinds of exercise that are the most protective to harm the muscles in some people.

That alone would justify banning them or putting a black box warning on them and reserving them for only a tiny number of uses.

But there is even worse news for statins.  They do this to EVERYONE who exercises and makes their time and efforts harm them instead of protecting them instead.

“In one study, two groups of overweight, sedentary people were put on an exercise program for 12 weeks. One group was given a statin and the other group wasn’t. After 12 weeks, the group that had been taking the statin saw no improvement in their fitness level. It was as if they hadn’t exercised at all! In fact, when muscle biopsies were performed, doctors found the members of this group had four and a half percent less energy-production capacity in their cells. They were actually in worse condition than before they started the exercise program!

So that means that statins  drugs should totally NOT be used to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

But what about lowering LDL?  That’s still a good idea isn’t it?

Since it is how can you lower LDL in a way that prevents Alzheimer’s instead of disarming part of your best protection?

You most certainly can!

The supplement beta sitosterol appears with stigmasterol.

If you take that supplement daily, Natrol makes the kind I take, “Cholesterol  Balance” it tends lower LDL from 10 to 25 points.

But what makes this and ideal way to lower LDL cholesterol for brain protection is this:

Recent research found that people who take stigmasterol test directly as having lower levels of beta amyloid in their brains!

And, there is a second way to lower LDL that also has been tested to prevent Alzheimer’s disease !

Eating curry that contains turmeric which in turn contains curcumin with black pepper and/& taking a curcumin supplement daily with black pepper also lowers LDL by about 10 to 20 points.  And, it has also been shown to help prevent and maybe even reverse early stage Alzheiemer’s disease!

The conclusion is that if you do vigorous exercise most days of every week and know how to eat right and do it and take beta sitosterol and curcumin, you have a real shot and NOT getting Alzheimer’s disease.

And, the research backs this up.

Further if you do those things, you don’t need statins which in fact tend to be quite counterproductive for this purpose!  That too has been tested to be a fact.  

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