Joshua Miller, professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the time when the research was conducted and now professor and chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Rutgers University said, “Independent of race or ethnicity, baseline cognitive abilities and a host of other risk factors, vitamin D insufficiency was associated with significantly faster declines in both episodic memory and executive function performance. But on average, people with low vitamin D declined two to three times as fast as those with adequate vitamin D.”
Rutgers University recently published a study that suggests that older people must increase their Vitamin D supplement intake to cut their chances of dementia. Findings suggest that reduced levels of vitamin D are related to faster decline in cognitive functions among older adults, which puts them at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
The research was done in almost 400 racially and ethnically different men and women in Northern California participating in longitudinal research at the Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Sacramento, Calif. Half of the participants were Caucasian and 50 percent were African-American or Hispanic. Research results are suggestive of the fact that 50 percent of Americans above 65 have low levels of vitamin D. It was also seen that African origin people have the highest chance to be deficient on Vitamin D.
It was seen that over this level, the risk of adverse health effects shoots up, with very high doses (10,000 IU/day or more) leading to significant damage to kidneys and other tissues. The study also revealed that people who are African-American or Hispanic had lower levels of vitamin D than white people. Vitamin D is crucial for its role in maintaining bone health and can be found mostly by sun exposure as well as egg yolks, cheese and fish oil.
Circulating 25-OHD levels can only be measured by blood test, and current guidelines consider adequate levels to be in the range of 20 nanograms per milliliter of serum to 50 ng/mL. Associations were evaluated between vitamin D levels and course of cognitive decline. It was seen that vitamin D levels, on an average, were lower in the dementia group as compared to the mild mental impairment and mentally normal people.
Miller said that till now, there have been no serious researches to find out if taking vitamin D could slow down or prevent memory loss, but he suggested measuring your vitamin D level to see whether you need more vitamin D.
The research was published online in JAMA Neurology, a JAMA Network journal.
Source: Press Release