Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cholesterol and Alzheimer's

My Dad has started to get a wee bit confused and forgetful, so things like this are really interesting to me.

Tom Naughton pointed this out

There is a clear reason why statins would promote Alzheimer’s. They cripple the liver’s ability to synthesize cholesterol, and as a consequence the level of LDL in the blood plummets. Cholesterol plays a crucial role in the brain, both in terms of enabling signal transport across the synapse and in terms of encouraging the growth of neurons through healthy development of the myelin sheath. Nonetheless, the statin industry proudly boasts that statins are effective at interfering with cholesterol production in the brain as well as in the liver.

Researchers are only recently discovering that both fat and cholesterol are severely deficient in the Alzheimer’s brain. It turns out that fat and cholesterol are both vital nutrients in the brain. The brain contains only 2% of the body’s mass, but 25% of the total cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential both in transmitting nerve signals and in fighting off infections.

High cholesterol is positively correlated with longevity in people over 85 years old, and has been shown to be associated with better memory function and reduced dementia. The converse is also true: a correlation between falling cholesterol levels and Alzheimer’s.

The original article - The Clue to Why Low Fat Diet and Statins may Cause Alzheimer's - is definitely worth reading


L said...


my mum started displaying the same symptons a few years ago. what really sucks is watching it get worse. google "dr. mary newport". she apparently has had some success treating her husband with coconut oil. something to do with ketones feuling brain cells unable to use glucose. don't have to eat a ketogenic diet because the coconut oil provides ketones regardless of carb consumption. unfortunately, can't get mum to consume it on a regular basis so i can't give you a promising "it works !!!" anecdote. if you get your dad to try the protocol for long enough, you might consider doing a post as i'm sure many others would be interested.

Chris said...

Dad has now been diagnosed with vascular dementia...so is on a statin again. I'm not up to arguing this one with the doctor.

Anonymous said...

Really interesting to read this. My Granddad has been diagnosed with dementia and Parkinson's disease. He has lived a large part of his life (he is now 79) eating a 'whole foods' diet: of cereal/grain, beans/lentils, root vegetables/vegetables/salad greens, fruit, potatoes, milk, cheese, butter, cream, yogurt, eggs, sugar, soya, rice milk, nuts/seeds, olive oil, sunflower oil. Both my Gran and Granddad were biodynamic farmer/gardeners, and my Gran ironically was a nutritionalist. Both ate very high quality produce and lived in very healthful settings, and led very active lives. Neither ate meat, perhaps for Christmas they would, if they weren't to eat a nut roast instead. They ate fish once a month if that. I wonder what element of their diet, if each element were to stand alone would have influenced the fact that my Granddad has been diagnosed with such a terrible disease. My Gran also passed away in such a terrible way with ovarian cancer which had spread through her bowels and to other organs of her body, I wonder too why this happened to her. Especially as my great grandmother, my gran's mother also died of ovarian cancer, (though she did eat meat). I only wish I understood more.