News and advice about the benefits and importance of vitamin D has been a regular occurrence at OGN Daily. Afterall, it plays a vital role in boosting our immunity and bodily health. But did you know it also benefits cognitive function and mood? Here are three ways the 'sunshine vitamin' promotes cognitive function.
It supports the health of our nervous system: Our brain houses a wide collection of receptors for various hormones, and it turns out that vitamin D is one of them. This is because vitamin D plays a big role in supporting our nervous system function and brain health.
According to a study, because of its impact on the production and release of neurotrophins (proteins needed for the development and survival of neurons), vitamin D has neuroprotective effects. Vitamin D also helps protect nervous tissues from oxidative stress and balances calcium levels in our blood and cells.
It helps maintain cognitive function as we age: As we get older, our cognitive functions start to get a bit fuzzier because of processes like oxidative stress and aging organs. However, according to assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine Nicole Avena, Ph.D., vitamin D can fend off these effects.
A 2019 analysis of vitamin D’s effects, published in the Journal of Aging Research, revealed a strong connection between vitamin D levels and age-related cognitive function. Plus, vitamin D receptors can be found in the area of the brain that forms new memories, “which may be compelling evidence that vitamin D is related to the proper creation of new memories,” Avena adds.
It provides mood support and promotes emotional well-being: Vitamin D’s role in regulating melatonin and serotonin (the two hormones intertwined with our mood) cannot be overstated, but on top of that, vitamin D also affects our gut health by promoting beneficial bacteria and boosting the health of our gut lining.
The more we learn about vitamin D, the more it becomes abundantly clear that we should all ensure we're getting enough of it.