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Psychotherapy.co.za : Articles : Articles : Self Help : Show Entry

 Cholesterol and depression
Submitted By DavidvdW | Added on: 2010 September 02 | Total Visits: 14408 | Printable version

Cholesterol levels linked to depression in the elderly

Betty Doyle
Betty Doyle descibes new research demonstrating a link between high cholesterol and depression in the elderly.

Research at the University of Montpellier illustrates how depressive disorder is related to cholestrerol levels and gender

Do you know the Institute of Medical and Health Research (INSERM) and College of Montpellier funded scientists indicated that controlling 'good' and 'bad' cholesterol levels can help stop emotional disorders among seniors?

In a newly released issue of the publication Biological Psychiatry written in July 2010, leading researcher Dr. Marie-Laure Ancelin of INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale ) reported that gender-specific regulation of cholesterol may help prevent depressive disorders in the aging adults.

French analysts followed a large group of males and females aged 65 and older for 7 years.

They discovered that depression in women was linked with lower levels of "good" high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), which puts them at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, including stroke.

In contrast, depressive disorder in men was associated with low levels of "bad" low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). This association was strongest in men with a hereditary vulnerability to depression related to a serotonin transporter gene.

Therefore, proper regulation of HDL-C and LDL-C levels can aid prevent depressive disorder in the aging seniors, the study concluded.

The research appeared in the July 15 issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry (Reference: http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(10)00393-8/abstract).

Major dietary sources of cholesterol include cheese, egg yolks, beef, pork, poultry, and shrimp. Plant products such as flax seeds and peanuts incorporate cholesterol-like substances called phytosterols.

Total cholesterol is described as the sum of HDL (High-density lipoprotein), LDL (Low-density lipoprotein), and VLDL (Very-low-density lipoprotein). Usually, only the total, HDL, and triglycerides are tested.

It is recommended to have cholesterol tested more frequently than 5 years if a person has total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or more, or if a man over age 45 or a woman over age fifty has HDL (good) cholesterol lower than 40 mg/dL, or exist other risk aspects for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

So...exactly what can you do to increase your HDL (good) and reduce your LDL (bad) levels?

 1. Exercising can substantially raise HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL cholesterol.

 2. Smoking cigarettes has been shown to lower HDL while raising LDL cholesterol.

 3. Processed, trans fats at the same time raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol.

 4. Monounsaturated fats such as those found in extra virgin olive oil and avocados raise HDL and reduce LDL.

 5. Fatty fish like salmon and sardines contain omega-3 fats that raise HDL and lower LDL.

 6. Whole, intact grains contain dietary fiber and niacin, both of which raise HDL and may lower LDL.

Now it's all up to you...


Betty Doyle shares knowledge for the anti depression pillsblog. It's a non profit site focused on her personal depression journey. The blog is targeted on offering energy and hope to any person who is suffering from depression and encourages those people to find the energy to fight against the effects of depression. In this manner she would like to support alleviate some of the stigma mental illness depression can cause and help the general public perception of mood problems.


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