September 14, 2015

336 Alzheimer’s & Vitamin D [14 Sept 2015]

A few weeks ago I listed nine things you could do to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Here is a tenth item to add to the list: keep your vitamin D levels up.

In honor of the 4th annual World Alzheimer’s Month this September the Vitamin D Council [] re-published the top five studies they had covered evaluating the link between vitamin D and Alzheimer’s. I will summarize them here:

1. A meta-analysis published last month in Nutrition Journal found people with vitamin D deficiency (level less than 50nmol/L) had a 21% greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
2. Researchers in Argentina found that vitamin D treatment slowed progression from mild to more severe stages of Alzheimer’s disease by about one year.
3. A 2014 Canadian study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that supplementation with vitamin D reduced amyloid-beta plaques in the brain and improved learning and memory in mice.
4. A 2013 systemic review of 31 studies found statistically significant lower outcomes in cognitive function tests, or a higher frequency of dementia, with lower vitamin D levels in 22 of the studies (no association was found in 9 of the studies).
5. Medical researchers from UCLA published a small pilot study in February 2013 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. They identified specific genes regulated by vitamin D and the omega-3 DHA that reduce inflammation and clear amyloid-beta plaques from the brain.

No one of these studies by itself proves that taking vitamin D supplements will reduce your risk of dementia, but together they provide a fairly strong indication. There are many other reasons to supplement with vitamin D, this is just one more (but an important one). Remember that at this latitude we are now past the season where we can synthesize vitamin D in our skin from sun exposure, even at noon.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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