Cholesterol increases Alzheimer’s risk

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It has been known for a while now that cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), increases your risk of Alzheimer’s and heart disease. But until recently nobody has understood why.

A new study, published in the online journal PLOS ONE, has found that cholesterol causes cells to divide incorrectly. For those who haven’t brushed up on their biology, here’s a quick, simplified lesson:

Every cell in your body contains a copy of your DNA. This is stored in chromosomes. Each cell has 46 chromosomes, or 23 pairs. They are labelled by number, from one to 23. To make new cells (which the body is doing all the time), a single cell will make a copy of your DNA. For a very short time that cell will have two copies of your DNA. The cell then splits in half. Each half gets a set of chromosomes, or one complete copy of your DNA. Both cells are identical to the original one they were created from.

Now for a segue. People with Down Syndrome have something called ‘trisomy 21’. Every cell in their body contains three copies of chromosome 21, instead of the usual pair. This is important because this new piece of research has found that cholesterol causes trisomy 21 in the cells which are dividing incorrectly.

Previous studies have shown that as much as 10 per cent of the cells in an Alzheimer’s patient, including neurones in the brain, have trisomy 21 (or three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two). Thus Alzheimer’s disease is, in some ways, an acquired form of Down Syndrome.

Now for the tricky part. Chromosome 21, the one which is being affected by cholesterol, is the chromosome which tells your body to produce the key component of the neurotoxic amyloid filaments which accumulate in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.

Confused? Basically what this means is we knew one of the causes of Alzheimer’s and now we know why it’s happening. That means we are much closer to being able to create a preventative measure or a cure than we have been previously. And who wouldn’t want to cure Alzheimer’s?

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Total Comments: 13
  1. 0

    Now the logical question is; What causes high cholesterol? High cholesterol is a ‘lifestyle’ disease that’s directly attributable to diets high in animal fats and/or trans fats. This includes dairy products. And guess what? Consumption of dairy products, especially milk, increases a man’s risk of contracting Parkinson’s, Alzheimer, depression, and other mental diseases, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
    Previous studies have established a link between Parkinson’s — a degenerative central nervous system disorder that commonly causes the impairment of motor skills, including speech — and the consumption of dairy. Confused? Give up dairy products, and animal remains!

  2. 0

    I have had high cholesterol for many years, I took statins for a very long time and had to stop those as they made a mess of my muscles, so i came off of those and tried every thing in the book, my diet is good, the specialist I saw said it was not my diet, but hereditory. I am 90 percent vegetatrian, have very little dairy, just Yogurt, I trim every bit of fat if I have meat which I eat once a week (because we need some iron,) I also eat fish. I cannot take the statins and have tried every other drug they have brought out,I am not a sweet tooth, and get very disheartened but must go on doing what I am told I should in the hopes it is helping some how? If I had gone on taking statins I know i would have been dead by now, I had reached a stage where i could only walk about 100 yards , it has taken me years to get to the point i am at now. I manage, and so far can remember where i live, so heres hoping.

    • 0

      Hereditary simply means we make the same mistakes in our diet as our fore bearers did. Your ‘little bit of dairy’ is enough to start you on the road to ill health. The amount is irrelevant. Instead of eating red meat for iron, eat vegetables for iron and eliminate your yogurt. Hundreds of ailments can result from too-little iron, and milk consumption has been shown to cause intestinal bleeding, which ultimately results in lowering one’s hemoglobin count. The result: weakness, depression, irritability.

      “Cow’s milk can cause blood loss from the intestinal tract, which over
      time, reduces the body’s iron stores. Blood loss may be a reaction to
      cow’s milk proteins.” Journal of Pediatrics, 1990, 116

      “Babies who are fed whole cow’s milk during the second six months of
      life may experience a 30% increase in intestinal blood loss and a
      significant loss of iron in their stools.” Pediatrics 1982;89(6)

      “…infants who consume cows’ milk during infancy are at increased risk
      of developing anaemia. Breast milk is the ideal…”
      Public Health Nutr, 1998 Jun, 1:2

      “Children with iron deficiency had a higher intake of cow’s milk compared to those with sufficient iron. Intake of cow’s milk is significantly higher in children with iron deficiency.” Acta Paediatr, 1999 Dec, 88:12

      “Cow’s milk-induced intestinal bleeding is a well-recognized cause of
      rectal bleeding in infancy. In all cases, bleeding resolved completely
      after instituting a cow’s milk-free diet. J Pediatr Surg, 1999 Oct, 34:10

      “Cow’s milk allergy (CMA) is one of the most common food allergies.
      The clinical presentation of these infants may be very
      traumatic to their parents, as significant rectal bleeding is the most
      common symptom in this disease.”

      W V Med J 1999 Sep-Oct;95(5)

    • 0

      Yes Sylvia, Lipitor is notorious for polymyositis, which is inflammation of muscles in arms , legs, and elsewhere that requires movement. I use to workk in a pathology department where had many many muscle biopsies, with a clinical history of ‘Lipitor induced polymyositis’. I told my clinician that I wanted something other than Lipitor, and he gave me Crestor. No muscle problems, and perfect Liver function test results, which I have checked every 9 months or so.

  3. 0

    is there anything that we can safely eat or drink?
    I’m 80 with the prospect that my health is only going to get worse anyway what can you do to make life more bearable.the Bible says be moderate in all things.I’m looking forward to Eternal Life

    • 0

      Yes, thank God, there is! And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. Genesis 1:29
      Everyone that useths milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness,
      for he is a babe. But solid food belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews: 5:13-14
      ‘Thou shall not kill’ Exodus 20:13

  4. Profile Photo

    kino , you should be very careful before you discuss health matters that are beyond your knowledge .
    I have very high cholesterol levels that are controlled by drugs – yes , not an ideal situation.
    My diet is excellent I carry no excess weight but I have inherited this problem through genetics ( not lifestyle ) . Facts Are facts – please get yours right ..

    Familial hypercholesterolemia (abbreviated FH, also spelled familial hypercholesterolaemia) is a genetic disorder characterized by high cholesterol levels, specifically very high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “bad cholesterol”), in the blood and early cardiovascular disease. Many patients have mutations in the LDLR gene that encodes the LDL receptor protein. Heterozygous FH is a common genetic disorder, inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, occurring in 1:500 people in most countries; homozygous FH is much rarer, occurring in 1 in a million births.[1]

    • 0

      Hi Kt, I am a health professional! A sports therapist, Kinesiologist, and Structural alignment therapist. We don’t label diseases, nor do we ‘treat’ symptoms with dangerous chemicals, but instead concentrate on causes of disease. Once you remove the cause the body has a chance to recover. The previous statements made by me are from research into the causes of cholesterol. Animal proteins are proven factors of disease in general, but cholesterol in particular!

    • 0

      Kt, the second spelling is correct. This is not America !!!

  5. Profile Photo

    Kino , you may be a health professional in your field – sports and body alignment . You do not have the experience in Lipids that the Cardiologist who treats me has ( 25 years of research and huge patient studies ) .
    Yes some foods are better left out of the diet – but- do not belittle the knowledge the professional heart specialists have – the ’cause ‘ is genetic in some people . Try to ‘ remove’ that .
    Believe me – I have been looking into this for 25 years . You do not have the answer from your research because you do not accept the ‘ genetic factor ‘ .
    We all know that animal portions do not help but it is not the answer in all cases .

  6. 0

    It is common to hear both medical professionals and the population at large talk about certain diseases as if they are inherited from the family genes. Many people assume they have no control over the development of disease because it “runs in the family”. But a new study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research helps put this medical myth to rest, noting that lifestyle habits and diet play a much more critical role in cancer development. Dr. Robert Gramling, associate professor of Family Medicine, and Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), author of the study, found that regardless of whether or not women have a family history of diseases, staying physically active, eating well, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption reduces their risk of developing those diseases to the same degree. According to professor Bruce Lipton ( Genes, which are DNA, or the blueprint of life, only alter if the environment they have to live in is toxic, and even then, only out of self preservation
    A recent study by Gary Null (see Death by Medicine at:, found that rather than being the third leading cause of death, modern medicine is the first leading cause with over three-quarters of a million people dying from medical treatment each year. If medicine actually knew what it was doing, it wouldn’t be that lethal. See a Kinesiologist to get at the causes of your health problems rather than treating the symptoms.

  7. 0

    Change of diet can lower cholesterol. It has been quite boring but my new diet did lower my LDL and triglyceride without taking cholesterol lowering drugs. I’ve cut down red meat, fatty foods and careful of saturated fats. I eat mostly beans, fish. fruits, vegies and sparingly chicken without skin. The transition was not easy but it worked.

    • 0

      Good for you! We are non-dairy vegetarian, and have been for a long time, We eat red and green curries, Indonesian fried rice, Singapore noodles, Gado-gado, sweet and sour vegies, sweet soy and garlic vegies, Spanakopitas, Succotash, and heaps more! All without animal remains!
      And we are in excellent health. I am 73 and still working as a health professional in our health center where we recommend our lifestyle to sick people in order to get well!



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