Vitamin D Protects Against Dementia
Dr. Gary Small, M.D., writes:
Fat-soluble vitamin D protects bone health and helps the body absorb dietary calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.
We can get vitamin D from fish, liver, sunlight, and supplements.
Dr. David Llewellyn and his associates at the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom reported in the journal Neurology that low blood levels of vitamin D are also associated with a greater likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers measured blood levels of vitamin D in more than 1,600 adults with the average age of 73.
The subjects did not have dementia at the beginning of the study. Volunteers with vitamin D levels of less than 25 nmol/L were twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia at a follow-up five years later.
Earlier laboratory studies indicated that vitamin D helps break down brain-toxic amyloid proteins, which may explain the connection between low vitamin D and greater dementia risk.
The new study demonstrates an association with dementia risk but not a cause-and-effect relationship; however, it strongly suggests that getting adequate vitamin D may protect brain health.
Dr. Gary Small, MD, author of The Mind Health Report newsletter, is a professor of psychiatry and aging, and director of the UCLA Longevity Center. Dr. Small, one of the nation’s top brain health experts, frequently appears on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Dr. Oz Show. He is co-author with wife Gigi Vorgan of many popular books, including the best-sellers The Memory Bible and 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain This article came in an email.
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