This soft, waxy substance is found not only in your bloodstream, but also in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function.
A new study from the UK suggests that low levels of the "good" HDL cholesterol is linked to poor memory, and decline in memory, in middle aged adults. Researchers defined low HDL as less than 40 mg/dL.
When the brain is deprived of cholesterol, it triggers the release of certain neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters affect the data processing and memory functions of the brain.
Use of statins in the use of treatment for high cholesterol levels is also under the scanner. Statins tend to decrease the overall cholesterol levels including the HDL cholesterol. This decrease of cholesterol deprives the brain of its requisite supply leading to dementia and memory loss.
"These findings suggest that lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol may be a potential strategy for preventing the development of cognitive impairment or dementia," the researchers conclude.
Effects of low HDL and high LDL cholesterol on the heart have been proven time and again. The effect of low HDL cholesterol on the brain is a topic that needs further research.