This is likely not your first time hearing that cholesterol is NOT a bad thing, that high cholesterol is NOT responsible for heart disease, and that LDL is NOT a “bad” fat. In the last few years this information has finally reached the mainstream press.
A newish study, the Shanghai Aging Study, has confirmed the findings of the Framingham Heart Study in showing that higher LDL (what your doctor likely still calls “bad” cholesterol) is protective against dementia. That is, in older adults those with higher LDL had lower rates of dementia and those with the government-recommended lower LDL had more dementia.
Like most nutrition studies, both of those mentioned above were observational studies, meaning they showed only correlation and did not prove cause.
Researchers hypothesize why higher levels of LDL are associated with lower incidence of dementia, such as that high LDL could be a marker of overall health or that higher LDL improves neuronal function and prevents brain atrophy.
Nevertheless, all the studies used to “prove” fat and animal foods are unhealthy were the same sort of observational studies. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
My doctor used to warn me each year that my cholesterol is high. I still get labs every few years because it’s interesting to me. With my HDL/triglyceride ratio and my HDL as good as they are, I don’t worry about LDL or overall. My doctor has to warn me because her licensing agency says that’s the standard of care. That’s the agency that trusts research by Big Pharma.
If you’re worried about dementia, you need to worry about inflammation, and that’s the result of sugar and seed oils like soybean, corn, canola. Avoid processed foods, eat animals, and exercise. Simple.
Don’t take my word for it! You can start your reading here.