Natural Cholesterol Treatments
Aspirin's anticoagulant effects help protect against ministrokes, a common cause of memory loss during the aging process. If you have any risk factors for stroke, such as high cholesterol, smoking, or a positive family history of stroke, an aspirin daily (or even a baby aspirin daily) is a good idea. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also be useful in delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease, and memory loss more generally. Use aspirin with caution if you're prone to stomach upset or irritation (or ulcer), and avoid it if you have bleeding tendencies or are taking anticoagulants.
Memory problems are common among people with diabetes, as well as among people with mildly impaired glucose metabolism, whose blood sugar is slightly high. In 2003, researchers at New York University School of Medicine reported that people with suboptimal glucose metabolism achieved lower scores on short-term memory tests than people with normal blood sugar. What's more, the hippocampus was smaller in people with elevated blood sugar. Suboptimal glucose metabolism (also known as reduced glucose tolerance) is one of the five characteristics of Syndrome X, a collection of risk factors for heart disease that tend to aggregate in some people. The other factors are hypertension, elevated triglyceride, low HDL (good cholesterol), and abdominal obesity.
What's bad for your heart is also bad for your brain. Conditions that are risk factors for cerebrovascular disease and heart disease, such as high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes, increase the risk of memory problems. Controlling these disorders with medication, dietary changes, and exercise can help keep your memory in optimal condition. High Cholesterol. If your total cholesterol level is high, you're more likely to suffer memory problems in the years ahead than if the level is what doctors now consider optimal less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg dL), as shown in Table 5.1. Specifically, people with elevated cholesterol are at increased risk of a number of brain disorders, including mild cognitive impairment, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. We don't know exactly how high cholesterol leads to memory loss or whether the crucial factor is excessive low-density lipopro- HDL Cholesterol Level teins (LDL, the bad cholesterol) or insufficient high-density lipoproteins (HDL,...
High cholesterol Your preventive strategy should focus on reducing risk factors for stroke reduce stress go for annual medical checkups if you have a strong family history of stroke reduce your weight and the intake of saturated fats in your diet maintain regular exercise habits take cholesterol-lowering medicines if proper diet and exercise together are not enough to keep your levels low stop smoking keep your blood pressure under control with a low-fat diet, low-salt intake, and if necessary, antihypertensive medications and control diabetes (diet and or medications) if you have this disease.
A saturated fat-rich diet is the worst dietary culprit. It can lead to memory loss because high cholesterol levels and plaques begin to block the brain's arteries. Eventually, blood clots can lead to ministrokes and cognitive deficits, depending on which specific part of the brain has been damaged. If hippocampal or frontal cortex nerve cells, or the pathways connecting these regions, are destroyed, memory loss is the result. High levels of saturated fats also generate toxic free radicals, which can damage brain cells even further. Lowering saturated fats boosts the antioxidant potency of your diet, which is beneficial for memory and the aging process more broadly. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables will prevent vitamin deficiencies, promote memory, and reduce the risks of cancer, heart attacks, and stroke.
Lipoproteins are complexes of carrier proteins and lipids, including cholesterol, that in the cardiovascular and digestive systems are involved in the trafficking of dietary lipids. Apolipoprotein E is a component of lipoproteins and mediates the uptake of these lipoprotein particles into target tissues. In the liver, ApoE is incorporated into very low density lipopro-teins (VLDLs), which carry triglycerides and cholesterol to peripheral tissues, mainly muscle and adipose tissue. In the gut, ApoE becomes a component of chy-lomicrons and mediates the transport of dietary fat to the liver. In macrophages, the scavenger cells of the immune system, ApoE is involved in the resecretion of absorbed cholesterol. However, ApoE is also expressed in cells of the nervous system, predominantly in astrocytes. The role of ApoE secretion and its binding to the ApoE receptors (ApoERs) that are present on the surface of neurons is unclear at this point.
The majority of older people, especially most women, gradually develop osteoporosis, which is a thinning and weakening of bone structure. If everyone said that there was no point in trying to prevent osteoporosis by using medications (estrogen, calcitonin, Fosamax, Evista) because it was, after all, normal aging, you can imagine how frail and stooped most elderly women would be and how many more falls and fractures would occur. Hypertension is another such example a mild to moderate rise in blood pressure was usually left untreated on the grounds that it was quite normal for an older person. After doctors began to treat even mild hypertension routinely, using diet, exercise, and medications if necessary (this practice began barely two to three decades ago), the risk of heart disease, stroke, and death in these people diminished steadily over time. Mild hypertension is now considered a treatable, and not just normal, part of the aging process. The same holds true for high cholesterol...
In taking his medical history, I learned that David had hypertension and high cholesterol. Though he was taking medication for both conditions, they weren't being adequately controlled. He had been to a hospital emergency department five months earlier with chest pain, which turned out to be benign. A recent physical examination, blood tests, and a chest x-ray were normal. His primary care physician had also ordered a brain MRI, which was normal.
A saturated fat-rich diet can indirectly lead to memory loss. High cholesterol levels lead to fatty plaques that deposit themselves on the inner walls of arteries and slow down blood flow in the brain. If this slowing of flow occurs in a small artery (as is common), blood clots gradually form and cause a ministroke, and depending on which part of the brain is damaged, cognitive deficits can occur. If hippocampal or specific frontal lobe nerve cells are affected, memory loss will be the result. The best time to focus on dietary preventive techniques is before these lesions develop, because after a ministroke, the dead nerve cells cannot be regenerated. Another reason for cutting back on saturated fats is that they increase the number of free radicals, which are toxic to most brain cells and can produce memory loss.
There are several ways that smoking might impair cognitive function, primarily related to its role as a major risk factor for cerebrovascular disease. Smoking damages the lungs, and good lung function is important for optimal memory function in aging. Smoking also constricts blood vessels, thereby depriving the brain of the oxygen necessary to nourish and support neurons. Nutritional factors may also play a role in the smoking-memory connection smokers tend to have lower intake of antioxidants and higher levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. There are many unknowns, but one bit of encouraging news is that smoking cessation seems to benefit the brain. In the previously cited 2004 study, former smokers exhibited less cognitive decline than current smokers.
It stands to reason that saturated fat is bad for your memory and unsaturated fats are beneficial. Saturated fat contributes to heart disease, hypertension, and high cholesterol, each of which increases the risk of age-related memory loss. Unsaturated fats are known to protect against these cardiovascular disorders. And we know that what's good for your heart is also good for your brain.
Lower Your Cholesterol In Just 33 Days
Discover secrets, myths, truths, lies and strategies for dealing effectively with cholesterol, now and forever! Uncover techniques, remedies and alternative for lowering your cholesterol quickly and significantly in just ONE MONTH! Find insights into the screenings, meanings and numbers involved in lowering cholesterol and the implications, consideration it has for your lifestyle and future!