WE can all expect to go grey as we age.

But research has suggested it may be one of the only signs of a silent killer disease.

GettyGoing grey could be a symptom of a fatty diet, experts say[/caption]

High cholesterol is only usually found when someone has a blood test.

According to the NHS, a whopping more than two in five people in England have high cholesterol.

The condition occurs when there is too much of a fatty substance, called cholesterol, in the blood.

It becomes harmful when it sticks to the insides of the arteries, building up and reducing blood flow.

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This puts a person at higher risk of developing heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

The NHS says: “High cholesterol does not cause symptoms. You can only find out if you have it from a blood test.”

But researchers at John Hopkins have evidence that high cholesterol impacts the hair, The Mirror reported.

The researchers then fed one group of mice a Western diet high in fat, and a second group standard chow.

Some mice were therefore designed to have atherosclerosis – when the arteries are clogged by fatty substances.

All mice were fed their assigned diets from 12 weeks of age to 20 weeks, according to the findings published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The mice that ate a Western diet lost hair and their fur whitened, and they also suffered from skin problems.

These results became more severe when the mice continued eating a Western diet for 36 weeks, with 75 per cent of the mice having hair loss and multiple skin lesions.

Dr Subroto Chatterjee, a professor of paediatrics and medicine, said: “Our findings show that a Western diet causes hair loss and hair whitening in mice.

“We believe a similar process occurs in men who lose hair and experience hair whitening when they eat a diet high in fat and cholesterol.”

The main purpose of the study, published in 2018, was to see if an experimental compound could reverse the symptoms seen in the mice with high cholesterol.

The condition can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle.

It’s mainly caused by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol, the NHS says.

Experts say to eat more oily fish, like salmon and mackerel, brown rice, bread and pasta, nuts and seeds and fruit and veg.

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Cut back on the meat pies, butter, ghee, cream, hard cheese, cakes and biscuits.

You should aim to do 2.5 hours of exercise per week – start with something easier like walking, swimming or cycling.

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