Dementia Research

Recent dementia research reveals the importance of vitamin D in cutting the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, published in the journal Neurology tested 1,659 healthy elderly people to check their vitamin D levels over a period of six years.

At the start of the study the volunteers were free of heart disease, stroke and cognitive impairment.

Researchers found that those who were moderately deficient in the vitamin showed a 53% higher risk of dementia and a 69% higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Llewellyn of the university of Exeter commented that “clinical trials are now needed to establish whether eating foods rich in the vitamin, such as oily fish, or taking vitamin D supplements can delay or even prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.”One could make a case for checking vitamin D levels in older people.”

Sources of vitamin D

  • Sunlight: the vitamin is manufactured by the body under the skin in response to sunlight.
  • Oily fish including mackerel, salmon, sardines
  • Eggs
  • Fortified cereals and spreads
  • Powdered milk


People at risk of not getting enough from this source include those who stay indoors, live in northern climes,  pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, young children, the elderly and people with dark skins.

Dementia Research Supplement Recommendations

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women - daily supplement of 10 micrograms
  • Babies and young children - 7-8.5 micrograms of vitamin drops
  • People aged 65 or over and those not getting much sunshine - daily supplement of 10 micrograms

Warning

Do not take more than 25 micrograms of a vitamin D supplement daily as this can be harmful.

Over a long period of time high levels of vitamin D can cause more calcium to be absorbed and deposited in the kidneys which may be damaged. Calcium can also be removed from the bones thus weakening them.

If you have any questions concerning the use of vitamin D please use our Question and Answer page.

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