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Heart Disease Risk in Middle Age Tied to Dementia Later

A new study shows that middle-aged persons with only slighted elevated blood pressure — aka prehypertension — have a higher risk for dementia in old age. The condition joins diabetes, smoking and high blood pressure as heart disease risk factors for mental decline, Reuters said. Lead author Dr. Rebecca Gottesman cautioned that just because the study showed an association, it “doesn’t prove that treating risk factors actually decreases risk.” She added that physical activity and a healthy diet are “powerful tools in preventing heart disease and dementia risk.

It’s refreshing to hear a researcher stress physical activity and diet for heart health, as opposed to statins, which most other heart specialists automatically suggest as the go-to “solution” to heart health. The purpose of statins is to lower cholesterol, a crucial molecule necessary for optimal health. The thing is cholesterol is not nearly the damaging culprit it's been made out to be.

In reality, according to Dr. Thomas Dayspring, a lipidologist (expert on cholesterol), most heart attacks are due to insulin resistance. He has also stated that LDL "is a near-worthless predictor for cardiovascular issues." In other words, high total cholesterol and even high LDL are insignificant when trying to determine your heart disease risk. The key difference is the presence or absence of insulin sensitivity.

The higher your insulin resistance, the worse markers such as fasting insulin, triglyceride-HDL ratio and HbA1c will be, suggesting you're at increased risk for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. You can avoid heart disease by dramatically reducing your net carbs and eliminating processed fructose. Normalizing your omega-3-to-omega-6 ratio helps, too, as does optimizing your vitamin D level by getting regular, sensible sun exposure. And, of course, exercise is a powerful way to help normalize your insulin sensitivity, as well as build heart muscle and promote a healthy brain.
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