Ask any doctor about dementia and he'll tell you very quickly how complicated it is. And it can be. There are so many factors that can damage your brain and its functioning. But one very common cause may be as simple as a vitamin deficiency.
Back in 2009, researchers found that one cause of dementia could be a vitamin D deficiency.
In that study, they found that those with low vitamin D levels were 2.3 times as likely to suffer from dementia as those with normal levels.
To find this, the scientists measured blood levels of vitamin D in 1,766 patients. All of the participants were over the age of 65. Then they assessed their cognitive function.
While this study didn't prove that vitamin D deficiency is the cause of dementia, it did suggest that it contributes to it. We've known for a long time that our brain cells have vitamin D receptors. If you don't have enough vitamin D in your system, it could impair your brain function.
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Well, now we have a new study that does confirm the link between vitamin D deficiency and dementia. In fact, this study found that your risk of Alzheimer's disease is much higher if you have a vitamin D deficiency.
This new study was the most robust study of its kind performed to date. So the results are highly significant. A team of researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School made some amazing discoveries.
The researchers looked at 1,658 adults who were 65 or older. All of them could walk unaided and were free from dementia, cardiovascular disease, and stroke when the study began. The researchers followed these participants for six years. They wanted to find out which of the participants would go on to develop Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
Here's what they found: Those who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53% higher risk of developing dementia of any kind. But those who were severely deficient saw their risk skyrocket 125%.
And the results were similar for Alzheimer's disease. Those in the moderately deficient group were 69% more likely to develop the disease. And those with a severe deficiency saw their risk jump up 122%.
Dr. David Llewellyn, the lead researcher, said: “We expected to find an association between low vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. But the results were surprising. We actually found that the association was twice as strong as we anticipated!”
These studies offer significant weight to the power of vitamin D to protect your brain. If you haven't started taking vitamin D, now's the time to do so. These studies say it will help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's — and that it might be a powerful treatment as well. So start taking vitamin D today. Take 5,000 IU daily. This will help move your blood levels to the optimal 70+ ng/ml.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.