How Vit. D can ward off dementia

Older people should boost their intake of Vitamin D with supplements to ward off dementia, a new study suggests.
Researchers have found people over the age of 60 with low levels of the essential vitamin experienced mental decline up to three times faster than those with adequate readings.
Vitamin D – known for its importance for bone health – is obtained primarily through sun exposure as well as egg yolks, cheese and fish oil.
The new study, published in the journal Neurology, discovered that it also has a major impact on how the body, including the brain, functions.
Joshua Miller, professor of nutritional sciences at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences in the US, said: ‘There were some people in the study who had low vitamin D who didn’t decline at all and some people with adequate vitamin D who declined quickly.
‘But on average, people with low vitamin D declined two to three times as fast as those with adequate vitamin D.’
The study, involving 382, people took place over an eight-year period between 2002 and 2010.
The participants range in age from their 60s to their 90s, and included those with normal cognition, mild mental decline and dementia.
It saw their vitamin D levels and their mental capacity accessed once a year for an average of five years.
It found 61 per cent of those taking part had low vitamin D in their blood.
Although taking too much vitamin D can be dangerous, Professor Miller said the findings suggested  people over 60 should consult their GP about taking vitamin D tablets.
Some people may have had melanoma or fear getting it,’ he said
‘Or, they may live in climates where the sun isn’t powerful enough, or do work that keeps them out of the sun. That’s where supplements come in.’
Prof Miller said more research  now needs to be done, including clinical trials.
‘This will give us the additional information that we need to help determine whether vitamin D supplements can be used to slow the rate of cognitive decline and prevent dementia in older adults,’ he added.

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