Does Vitamin D prevent Alzheimer’s or just cognitive impairment in Alzheimer sufferers? The answer to that question isn’t obvious in this report but lots of people will like the idea of what’s good for your heart is also good for your head.
Vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment
Published 12 July 2010
Vitamin D deficiency could increase the risk of cognitive impairment according to new research presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease. Scientists from the University of Exeter studied 3,325 people over the age of 65. They found that those who were severely deficient in Vitamin D were nearly five times more likely to be cognitively impaired, compared to participants with healthy levels of Vitamin D.
The research was presented alongside a second smaller study of more than 850 people in Italy. The second independent study by the same researchers also reported that Vitamin D deficiency was linked to a lower level of education and depression.
Alzheimer’s Society comment:
‘These large studies provide compelling evidence that the sunshine vitamin – Vitamin D – could be linked to cognitive impairment. The key question now is whether Vitamin D deficiency causes problems in brain function or if the lifestyle factors are the same for cognitive impairment and Vitamin D deficiency.
‘Unfortunately we are not in a position to say that basking in the sun will reduce your chances of getting dementia. However we do know that eating healthily and exercising can reduce your risk. The general rule is what is good for your heart is also good for your head.’
Professor Clive Ballard
Director of Research