Aging Has An Unexpected Effect On Your Cholesterol – Health Digest

Even though young and middle-aged women tend to have lower cholesterol levels compared to their male counterparts, women will see this difference level off when they reach menopause. In particular, they might see their HDL cholesterol decrease while their total cholesterol increases. Estrogen regulates the production of cholesterol in the body, and declining estrogen levels could cause the body to produce more cholesterol.

Researchers don’t fully understand why cholesterol is metabolized differently as people age, according to a 2022 article in Aging. It’s possible that losing muscle and gaining a little more body fat might make people more insulin-resistant, causing the liver to make more LDL cholesterol. Aging could also mean that the HDL cholesterol becomes less effective at doing its job.

Cholesterol isn’t just part of your heart health. The cholesterol in your brain also changes as you get older, and this could lead to cognitive decline and risk of neurodegenerative disease. There’s also a connection between your liver and your brain. Liver diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) have been linked with poor cognitive performance and function.

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