You may have read about studies that say high cholesterol is bad for your brain. Some say it may even lead to the brain plaques characteristic of Alzheimer's.  But these stories only give you part of the story. 

Yes, high total cholesterol is bad for you. And yes, high LDL ("bad" cholesterol) can lead to Alzheimer's. But what's more important than these two numbers is your level of HDL. 

You already know HDL is the "good" cholesterol. It carries the bad cholesterol away from your arteries and back to the liver, where it's passed from the body. So the higher your HDL is, the better your body is able to handle high cholesterol levels.

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Now there's evidence that high HDL levels can actually prevent Alzheimer's disease.

A recent study of 4,000 healthy women found that those with the highest levels of HDL had a 50% reduced risk of contracting Alzheimer's.

The researchers suggested that HDL might help to clear out cholesterol deposits from the arteries, keeping up circulation.

I agree. Because HDL carries bad cholesterol out of the body, it keeps the arteries from getting clogged. And that keeps your circulation in tip-top shape. And circulation issues are common with dementia and other brain problems.

In fact, a second study suggests that if you have high blood pressure, you have a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer's. Again, this suggests that circulation is a primary factor.

The great news is there are several things you can do to improve your circulation and prevent most types of brain and memory problems.

 * I personally think essential phospholipids are one of the best supplements you can take for circulation protection. They help raise HDL cholesterol's scouring activity. You can buy essential phospholipids in a product called LipoFlow, which is available at many health food stores and on the Internet.

 * Other supplements that may raise HDL include fish oil, niacin, policosanol (which is available in Healthy Resolve's Advanced Cholesterol Formula {PUT LINK HERE}), and curcumin.

 * You also need to get plenty of exercise. Walking and other types of exercise can overcome a lot of bad habits. And it's great for your circulation.

 * And finally, the best advice I can give you is to watch your diet! Increase the amount of natural protectors you eat. These include onions, fish, and soluble fibers found in apples, citrus, grapes, legumes, and fruit. My HDL was once 45 with total cholesterol of 155. Today, with 10 more years under my belt, my numbers are even better - 58 and 168 (notice my overall cholesterol number went up, but my numbers are better because my HDL went up even more as a percentage). I attribute the HDL difference to my diet, which is primarily made up of raw fruits and vegetables. Prevention is always your best medicine.

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