A team of researchers has identified an association between vitamin D intake and the risk of developing dementia. Older individuals who do not get sufficient vitamin D could twice their possibility of developing the dementia.
Dementia is a collective name used to explain the issues that individuals with numerous underlying brain problems can have with their memory, thinking and language. Alzheimer’s disease is the well-known and very common problem within dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is the one of the major cause of death in the U.S. and is considered to presently affect more than 5 million People in America, with respect to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is very common in individuals aged above 65, in which a 10th of the population has the problem.
The authors of the research, published in Neurology, explain that low levels of vitamin D are connected with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Worryingly, there are great rates of vitamin D deficiency in older people.
The CDC states that around 33% of the US people do not get adequate quantities of vitamin D, with 8% of the people at danger of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is acquired from sun exposure and foodstuff like as milk, eggs, cheese and fatty fish.
Link between Vitamin D and Dementia
For the research, the scientists examined around 1,650 dementia-free individuals older over 65 who had taken part in the US population-based Cardiovascular Health Research. The vitamin D levels in their blood were examined, and they were observed up for an average of 5.5 years.
While in this follow-up time, 171 of the members developed dementia and 102 individuals developed Alzheimer’s condition. The scientists identified the individuals with low levels of vitamin D were 52% more probably to grow dementia, and those who were seriously lacking were 125% more probably, when compared with individuals with normal levels of vitamin D.
In the same way, individuals with low amounts of vitamin D noticed a 70% enhanced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and all those with serious deficiency had an enhanced danger of 120%, again when compared with individuals with normal amounts of the vitamin.
Research author David J. Llewellyn, was shocked by the level of their outcomes, saying, “We basically identified that the connection was twice as powerful as we expected.”
The outcomes of the study stayed the same even following modifying for other factors – such as alcohol intake, smoking and education – that could impact the possibility of developing dementia.
Llewellyn urges warning following the results of the research, saying that the outcomes do not illustrate that low vitamin D levels trigger dementia. He indicates the direction that upcoming research requires to take:
“Clinical studies are now required to establish whether consuming foods like as oily fish or getting vitamin D supplements can postpone or even avoid the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”
The research was incapable to account for all types of dementia, as by excluding individuals with cardiovascular illness and stroke at the starting of the study, the scientists experienced few cases of vascular dementia. The authors understand that additional research will be needed to integrate this area of the population.
Despite this, the research could offer a good beginning point for this area of study. “Our results are very encouraging,” states Llewellyn, “and even if a few numbers of individuals could benefit, this would have huge public health implications given the devastating and expensive nature of dementia.”