Alzheimer’s Link to Meat and Dairy: Oxidized Cholesterol
According to research, too much cholesterol (oxidized) in the blood is a significant potential risk in the development of Alzheimer’s as well as Parkinson’s disease.
You might be wondering if there are sources of this type of cholesterol in your diet. Cholesterol is not obtained from plants.
However, it is present in plenty of animal foods, such as meat, dairy, and eggs. Whenever animal products are powdered or dehydrated, the cholesterol in them becomes oxidized.
Have you come across powdered whole milk, powdered eggs, or dried grated cheese? You don’t necessarily have to eat them directly; they can be ingredients.
We seek to establish the link between Alzheimer’s disease to these products and help you understand the effects of oxidized cholesterol.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease or AD is considered the most prominent neurological disorder in society. Research indicates that it accounts for two-thirds of age-related dementia cases.
This disorder is characterized by dementia, an ultimately fatal, progressive brain disease. Current estimates rank AD cases in the six figures.
In people with AD, toxic changes in the brain prohibit healthy balance and function. The changes may take years before the first symptom of AD shows up.
So, it makes sense to learn the whole picture of the disease concerning dairy products and meat.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
There are several of them, and most of them are quite disturbing, given the fact that they’re irreversible.
- Memory loss that interferes with your day-to-day life
- Difficulty planning as well as solving problems
- Hard to complete familiar tasks or chores at work, home, or leisure
- Trouble deciphering spatial relationships and visual images
- Confusion with places or time
- Inability to retrace your steps when you misplace or lose things
- Brand new issues with words in writing or speaking
- Poor or diminished judgment
- Changes in personality and mood
- Withdrawal from social or work activities
- Difficulty making or maintaining a conversation
What is Oxidized Cholesterol?
Maybe you have read somewhere that there is no reason for worrying about your cholesterol being high, simply because you need cholesterol.
However, there is a significant amount of evidence that indicates the danger of specific kinds of cholesterol.
Oxidized cholesterol in the blood is associated with all stages of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), AD, and heart disease among other conditions.
Bad cholesterol that is in excess in your blood will quickly deposit on the walls of your arteries and oxidizes.
Why Does Oxidation Occur?
As you go about your daily affairs, your body generates free radicals that are originally intended to terminate cancer cells as well as germs.
But if free radicals are left unchecked, they tend to generate rapid destruction that is not good for your body.
Usually, your body is adequately equipped with enzymes for controlling the destructive mechanism.
However, things may worsen if the cholesterol is composed of polyunsaturated fats. This type of fat consists of chemically unstable bonds, which increase oxidation.
What is the Link of AD to Meat and Dairy?
According to the latest studies, those who follow diets rich in high-fat dairy products and meat are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
Research also indicates that people who are on a Mediterranean diet (mainly composed of fish, legumes, low-fat dairy, grains, veggies, and fruits) are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
Generally, most studies link Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disorders to toxins, cholesterol, and saturated fats found in high-fat dairy and meat.
Oxidized Cholesterol as a Cause of AD
According to research, the brain arteries of people with Alzheimer’s are clogged with cholesterol and fat when compared to ordinary aging people.
But research also indicates that there is no way to export cholesterol across the BBB (blood-brain-barrier) directly.
What if Your Brain Has Too Much Cholesterol?
According to science, your brain has an enzyme that is responsible for oxidizing excess cholesterol due to the consumption of high-fat dairy and meat.
The ability of the brain to oxidize cholesterol makes it easy for your brain to get rid of the excess cholesterol.
However, the outcome is undesirable. The elimination of oxidation products paves the way for the accumulation of toxic oxysterols in the brain.
Unfortunately, this is not a hypothetical concern. Relevant studies have measured the difference between the blood that flows into the brain and out of the brain.
The studies insist that too much cholesterol in the blood can quickly end up in the brain. The accumulation of oxidized cholesterol in your brain can be cytotoxic and even carcinogenic.
In straightforward words, the toxic oxysterols are not just harmful, but toxic to your DNA, and cells, and contribute significantly to heart conditions and even cancer.
Oxidized cholesterol is believed to be more pathological. If such is the situation in your brain, you are more vulnerable to developing Alzheimer’s and other chronic disorders.
How to Cut Down Oxidation Products from Your Body
Sometimes the simplest solution to a problem is avoidance, and that is what you should be doing as far as oxysterols are concerned.
One way is by not consuming them altogether. The culprits you need to avoid are meat and high-fat dairy products, including cheese, fish, and egg products.
You will be surprised by the amounts of oxidized cholesterol found in animal products. For example, canned tuna and ghee are astonishingly high in fats.
Ghee and boiled butter are commonly used in cooking, but it is how these foods are prepared that seems to increase the levels of oxidized cholesterol.
This dietary exposure to such high levels of cholesterol oxides from certain foods explains why people who are dependent on western diets are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Cholesterol oxides in the diet are the primary source of cholesterol oxides in your bloodstream where it can easily and readily get into your brain.
This could significantly trigger inflammation in your brain. All the adverse effects take years to occur before the damage to memory is diagnosed.
Relationship between Oxidized Cholesterol & Mild Cognitive Impairment
Higher levels of oxysterols are linked not only with mild cognitive impairment but AD as well.
Increased levels in your brain may cause cellular damage, degeneration, and nerve cell dysfunction, and could significantly contribute to neurological inflammation and amyloid plaques.
According to autopsy results of people with Alzheimer’s in research studies, oxidized cholesterol products seem to be building up.
Such findings add to the evidence that cholesterol oxides may be a driving force behind the occurrence as well as the development of Alzheimer’s.
Millions of people suffer from AD, and the available treatments are at best, disappointing. The lack of effective treatments has increased the interest in prevention measures.
Even the slightest ability for delaying the onset of the disease for a year or so is highly acceptable. This can help prevent millions of cases for at least a few decades.
The sad truth about AD is that once cognitive functions are destroyed, they may be lost forever, which is highly catastrophic for patients and their families.
Therefore, the more realistic approach to the prevention of AD is to deal with the associated causes. In this case, oxidized cholesterol (a product of dairy products and meat).