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Healthy Hearts Can Protect You Against Alzheimer’s Disease

senior woman holding big paper heart for valentine's day

In The Archives of Neurology, it’s noted that those with higher HDL (good) cholesterol may be at a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Though there’s some disagreement on the extent to which a healthy heart can protect someone from Alzheimer’s disease, the majority of experts do agree there’s a connection between the two. With as many as one in every five Americans showing high bad cholesterol levels, the repercussions may be significant.

The theory is that when there’s elevated bad cholesterol in the blood, it can lead to increased bad cholesterol in the brain, promoting production of the plaques that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

Current cholesterol guidelines for men are to raise HDL levels that are below 40 mg/dL, and for women, to increase them when below 50 mg/dL. The optimal HDL is 60 mg/dL or above, with a total cholesterol level of less than 200.

There’s also the belief that high blood pressure (over 140/90) may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by causing damage to blood vessels. As blood vessels become stiffer, it can lead to a decrease in the necessary nutrients reaching and feeding brain cells.

Both lifestyle changes and medications to improve heart health may in fact also protect brain health.

Caregivers by WholeCare’s professional care team can plan and prepare delicious, nutritious meals for older adults who are trying to control their cholesterol, as well as assist with exercise programs, medication reminders and more. Serving Nashville and the surrounding area, contact us today at 615-298-9201 to learn how we can assist.

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