High cholesterol may reduce Alzheimer’s and dementia risk

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Dementia is now a top killer disease in Australia
Maria Rosa, 70, a patient with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, and former business administrator, poses for a photograph inside the Alzheimer Foundation in Mexico city, April 19, 2012. Alzheimer's is a progressive, degenerative disease that robs people of memory, reasoning and the ability to communicate. Reuters/Edgard Garrido

Contrary to the existing medical belief that high cholesterol raises the risk of heart stroke, it may actually reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia and is likely to be beneficial for the heart.

The cholesterol-lowering drug Statins, which are most commonly prescribed around the world, do not really protect from heart disease, multiple research studies conducted over the years shows, according to the Sott.Net.

While dementia cases have increased in the US, Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the country, says one such research.

Researchers point out that cholesterol is required to make neurotransmitters, the chemicals that brain cells use to communicate with each other. The cholesterol-lowering drugs work to prevent the production of the neurotransmitters, leading to impaired memory and other cognitive functions.

Thus, high total cholesterol reduces the risk of dementia in the elderly, according to research. Memory loss, fuzzy thinking and even learning difficulties are known to be caused by Statin drugs such as Mevacor, Lipitor, and Crestor, reports the Scientific American.

Research indicates that Statins lower the production of a heart-protecting nutrient, CoQ10, causing fatigue and muscle pain. A diet low in fat and cholesterol, in fact, enhances the risk of depression and suicide.

The FDA warning for the use of Statins  underlines the increased risk of liver damage, type 2 diabetes, memory loss and muscle weakness due to these drugs.

Several studies have been conducted to ascertain the side effects of Statins. According to one research, 48 per cent of women who take these medications eventually develop diabetes which greatly increases the risk of dementia, while another suggests it leads to loss of libido. 

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