Does Low Cholesterol Cause Alzheimer’s?

Low fat/low cholesterol diets are starting to emerge as a likely cause of the Alzheimer’s

The brain is loaded with fat and cholesterol, having a far greater percentage than the rest of the body, especially the cholesterol. But, fat and cholesterol have been demonized for years, so why not lower them with a pill. The drug industry has promoted just this, statins to prevent dementia. But despite the publicity and pharma-bucks, it just isn’t working. There is no association found. Further, the beta-amyloid plaque – thought for decades to be the cause of the disease – appear to be some sort of defense mechanism. A highly touted drug trial, which lowered it in patients with mild dementia, was cancelled mid-stream because the beta-amyloid lowering drug actually caused the patients to get worse.

Back to the drawing board. By the way, as an aside, beta-amyloid is not some weird Alzheimer’s only kind of thing; it is a normal part of a working and tired brain that sleep, via the glymphatic system (The Glymphatic System) clears out.

We have some strong circumstantial evidence that the three decade old war on cholesterol and fat may well be the direct cause of the Alzheimer’s epidemic. More and more pieces are falling into place.

Some history. Alzheimer’s has been known for 100 years, but was considered rare until about 30 years ago, when it suddenly started shooting up. It is now an epidemic and is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. What happened 30 years ago? Well, one major shift was the anti-cholesterol anti-fat mania, with statin drugs almost universally recommended. High carb/low fat diet plus statins. Adult onset diabetes headed to epidemic levels in this same period. We are now quite sure that the adult onset diabetes epidemic, also called type 2 diabetes, was caused by the high carb/low fat craze. Alzheimer’s too? We are usually the first to chirp, “Correlation is not causation”, but the evidence is starting to stack up.

The brain is a cholesterol and fat hog. At least 25% of the body’s cholesterol is found in the brain, and a lot of fat. Why? Well the simple answer is that the brain needs it. Deprive the brain of what it needs, and what do you expect to happen?

Actually we now know that certain types of fat, and cholesterol, are directly involved in neuron to neuron communication. We would like that working well. Further, people with Alzheimer’s are found to have significant fat and cholesterol deficiencies in their brain.

is-low-cholesterol-the-cause-of-alzheimers-ketoThe final piece of evidence along this line of reasoning is the effect of the ketogenic diet on dementia. A ketogenic diet is a no carb, effectively all animal product diet. It is high in fat, high in cholesterol, and so far, the only treatment that has been shown to improve dementia. That’s right. A draconian cutting of carbs, with a high fat, high cholesterol diet, offers improvement.

There is another angle to the Alzheimer’s epidemic. Alzheimer’s is sometime called type 3 diabetes, and for good reason. Glucose management, the hallmark of diabetes, is severely disrupted in Alzheimer’s patients. It tends to be chronically high, and insulin very high as well. This chronically high level of glucose causes sugar related junk to pile up in the brain.

Now the high glucose/high insulin syndrome is caused by the same high carb/low fat diet. This is not supposition. This is fact.  And of course, a low or no carb diet will reverse this.

This is quite a compelling string of evidence at this point, both from the point of view of which actions tend to cause dementia, and which actions tend to cure it.

None of the high priests in the medical profession want to utter anything like: “The diets and meds we have been recommending for 30 years have caused an Alzheimer’s and adult onset diabetes epidemic.” None. Still, you have to wonder.

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