In a new study, researchers found vitamin D could improve memory performance in older people.
However, when taking too much vitamin D supplements, it could slow down people’s reaction times.
Slower reaction times may increase people’s fall and fracture risk.
The research was led by Rutgers researchers.
Vitamin D is important for bone health. It can be obtained through sun exposure and supplements.
Previous studies found that vitamin D has a big impact on how the body functions.
Some studies showed that vitamin D plays a role in cognition and the normal function of the brain.
In the current study, the team examined the impact of vitamin D on cognitive function using computers.
They examined three groups of overweight and obese women between 50 and 70 years old.
The first group took the recommended daily dose of 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day for a year.
The second group took 2,000 IU per day. The third group took 4,000 IU per day.
All of the women were encouraged to lose weight during the study.
The researchers found in women who took 2,000 IU vitamin D per day, the memory and learning performance was influenced.
However, these women’s reaction time showed a trend to be slower at 2,000 IU daily and much slower at the 4000 IU dosage.
Previous research has shown that vitamin D supplementation at about 2,000 IU daily or more was linked to a higher risk of falls.
In addition, the team suggests that 4,000 IU vitamin D a day may be dangerous to older people because it can disrupt walking or one’s balance.
Further work is needed to see whether reaction time is related to rates of falls and injuries in people with a high risk.
In addition, more research is needed to examine how different doses of vitamin D supplementation may influence women and men separately.
The lead author of the study is Sue Shapses, a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Rutgers University.
The study is published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A.
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