For decades, conventional medicine has bombarded us with the message that cholesterol is a killer. And low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol was labeled “bad.”
And since 1987, Big Pharma has been steadily pumping out pills for us to lower our numbers while growing the statin industry into a 29 billion dollar business.
Right now, there are MILLIONS of Americans taking statins. In fact, around 28 percent of Americans over 40 are on one. Maybe even you.
But the truth is, those artificially-induced basement-low numbers come with risks of their own.
Statins can cause severe muscle aches and raise blood sugar. Even worse, they could increase your of liver damage and cancer.
And now a new study has uncovered yet another potential casualty of the obsession with low cholesterol…. your brain.
High LDL cholesterol linked to lower dementia risk
A new study out of China has once again upended the low-cholesterol apple cart. The Shanghai Aging Study tracked the health of nearly 4,000 seniors and were stunned at what they found.
The folks who were suffering from dementia had lower LDL. While the volunteers who were still sharp as tacks had HIGHER levels of this so-called “bad” cholesterol.
Now, this was an observational study. So it wasn’t designed to prove cause and effect. But the evidence for the connection between brain health and cholesterol has been building for years.
In earlier studies, people with low LDL bombed on cognitive tests when compared to folks with higher LDL and total cholesterol levels. And the Framingham Heart Study found that seniors over the age of 85 with HIGHER cholesterol were 32 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia.
And there’s a good reason why.
Your body NEEDS cholesterol to function
Your brain REQUIRES cholesterol to function. In fact, 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body is located in your brain.
And your body uses it for vital tasks such as producing hormones and creating the membranes that surround our cells. In fact, it’s so critical to your health that your body produces its OWN cholesterol in your liver and brain using the enzyme HMG-CoA.
Statin drugs limit your body’s ability to produce cholesterol by targeting that same enzyme. And since your brain can’t extract cholesterol from your blood and has to create its own, it’s easy to see how this could lead to brain problems.
Target oxLDL cholesterol to protect your heart
If you’re concerned about cholesterol and your heart, you should talk with your doctor about focusing on the real villain, oxidized cholesterol (oxLDL).
As long as your cholesterol remains light and fluffy, you’re in good shape. But free radicals can cause cholesterol to oxidize and become dense and sticky.
And oxLDL can cling to your arteries causing inflammation and attracting white blood cells. The white blood cells attempt to repair the damage by forming new fat cells which build up and block blood flow.
But target that oxidation with antioxidants, and your problem is solved.
You can start with astaxanthin.
The compound is responsible for the pink or red color of salmon, lobster, shrimp, and other seafood. And a study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition showed this powerful antioxidant can help manage LDL and oxidized cholesterol without driving your numbers too low.