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Vitamin D May Reduce Risk of Dementia by a Third

Updated: Mar 24

Researchers found that people with higher levels of the 'sunshine vitamin' had better cognitive function.

Woman leaning her face towards the sun to enjoy the warmth

Researchers at Tufts University in Boston looked at levels of vitamin D in 290 adults in the Rush Memory and Ageing Project, a long-term study of Alzheimer's that began in 1997. The findings are published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The team looked at vitamin D levels in four regions of the brain, two linked to Alzheimer’s, one known to be involved in dementia, and another believed to not be linked to cognitive decline with age.

They found that vitamin D was present in all four regions and people with more of it had better cognitive function, reports The Telegraph.

“Higher brain [vitamin D] concentrations were associated with a 25 percent to 33 percent lower odds of dementia or mild cognitive impairment,” the scientists write in their paper.

The scientists say that more work is needed to fully understand the role of vitamin D in the brain and how extensive its protective effect may be. However, it's not the first time that vitamin D has been associated with benefits for reducing the risk of dementia if maintained at healthy levels.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed data from 294,514 participants from the UK Biobank, examining the impact of low levels of vitamin D and the risk of dementia and stroke. It revealed that cases of dementia could drop by nearly a fifth if people who were deficient in the vitamin took supplements to bring them up to healthy levels.

Vitamin D, often called the sunshine vitamin, has been shown to have numerous other heath benefits too. Have a look at Vitamin D: Everything You Need to Know - a handful of articles extolling the benefits of Vitamin D - many of which may surprise you.


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