The fact that HDL cholesterol operates substantially differently in the brain than it does in the rest of the body could be one explanation.
High HDL-C levels have been linked to an increased risk of dementia in older persons, according to a recent study.
The researchers clarified that although extremely high HDL-C levels linked to dementia risk in their study were unusual and unrelated to diet, there was a higher likelihood that they represented a metabolic condition.
The results were released in the Western Pacific Regional Health issue of The Lancet.
Since it aids in the movement of cholesterol from the bloodstream back to the liver, HDL cholesterol has long been regarded as “good.” As LDL cholesterol can accumulate in artery walls and induce atherosclerosis, or the formation of plaque, it is regarded as “bad” cholesterol.
18,668 healthy senior individuals, the majority of whom were over 70, were studied by the researchers.
Participants with very high HDL-C (>80 mg/dL or >2.07 mmol/L) at the beginning of the study had a 27% higher risk of dementia compared to those with optimal HDL-C levels (for men: 40 to 60 mg/dL or 1.03–1.55 mmol/L; for women: 50 to 60 mg/dL or 1.55–2.07 mmol/L).
This risk increased over the course of an average 6.3 years of follow-up. Furthermore, individuals 75 years of age and above showed a 42% higher risk of dementia in comparison to those whose HDL cholesterol levels were at ideal ranges.
The study’s highly high HDL-C levels were present in 2,709 patients at the beginning of the trial, with 38 cases of dementia in those under 75 years old and 101 in those 75 and over.
Although there isn’t any proof linking HDL-C to dementia, this isn’t the first study to raise the possibility. Although there is still much about this correlation that we do not fully grasp, it is undoubtedly encouraging us to pose more insightful queries and look into this relationship in greater detail.
Bradley pointed out that there are several theories explaining why HDL cholesterol acts so differently in the brain than it does in other parts of the body. HDL cholesterol may cause blood arteries to harden, which may raise the risk of stroke in the brain.
Additionally, it may alter the brain in a way that promotes inflammation, which may be connected to some types of dementia.
Furthermore, the functionality of the particle is not always directly correlated with the amounts of HDL in the body, as the study suggested.
The lead author noted that it’s probable that HDL behaves differently at high levels than it does in “normal” ranges.
The authors of the study observed that elevated levels of HDL-C linked to dementia risk were unusual, unrelated to food, and more likely to be indicative of a metabolic condition.
For levels above 80 mg/dl, the researchers in this study found a correlation between HDL and dementia risk. This is higher than what is regarded as “normal” HDL levels, yet patient-specific values differ greatly.