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Bad cholesterol linked to dementia

Bad cholesterol linked to dementia

Being on and off of a diet, with weight going up and down depending on the time of year or our social calendars, has become common place in this day and age. Doctors call it weight cycling while most of us refer to it as plain yo-yo dieting. Although it’s been shown to be detrimental to our health, for some reason the dieting cycle continues.

However new research may make you reassess how you approach losing weight, with a study from The Netherlands suggesting yo-yo dieting could increase your risk of dementia.

A team from the Leiden University Medical Center studied a group of 4,428 adults from Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands aged between 70 and 82. All participants were part of the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk, and either had vascular disease or were at a higher risk for developing the condition because of histories of hypertension, cigarette smoking or diabetes.

It was found that greater fluctuations in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) are linked with lower cognitive performance. It was also shown that greater fluctuations in LDL were associated with lower brain blood flow.

LDL, or 'bad' cholesterol, is caused by crash dieting, with cholesterol levels changing because of diet, exercise and frequency of cholesterol-lowering statins.

“Our findings suggest for the first time that it's not just the average level of your LDL-cholesterol that is related to brain health, but also how much your levels vary from one measurement to another,” lead author, Ph.D. student Roelof Smit explained.

Results are published in American Heart Association's journal Circulation, with Smit explaining the European study may also be applicable to American citizens.

“These results add an important puzzle piece to the emerging evidence that vascular risk factors are closely related to brain health,” Smit added.

“Our study is just the first exciting step. Further studies are needed to examine whether these findings could truly influence clinical practice.”

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