Recently, scientists have discovered a new health benefit of taking vitamin D.
They found that vitamin D could improve memory function in older people. But taking too much vitamin D may increase risks of fall and fracture.
The research was led by a team from Rutgers University.
It is known that vitamin D is very important for our bone health. The main sources of vitamin D are sun exposure and vitamin D supplements.
Previous research has shown that the nutrient has a big impact on how the body functions.
For example, recent studies have found that vitamin D plays a role in the normal functions of the brain.
Other studies have shown that vitamin D could reduce respiratory infections such as flu, help treat autoimmune diseases, and benefit people colon cancer.
In the current study, the team focused on how vitamin D may influence cognitive functions in older people.
They tested three groups of overweight and obese women who were between 50 and 70 years old.
The first group took the recommended daily dose of 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D every 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 after the study, women who took 2,000 IU vitamin D per day had better memory and learning performance.
But they also found that these women’s reaction time was slower at 2,000 IU daily and much slower at the 4000 IU dosage.
This finding suggests that vitamin D may help improve memory and learning functions.
But taking too much vitamin D may slow down people’s reaction times. Slower reaction times may increase people’s fall and fracture risk.
The finding is consistent with previous results that taking vitamin D supplementation at about 2,000 IU daily or more was linked to a higher risk of falls.
The team also suggests that 4,000 IU vitamin D a day may disrupt walking or balance.
They suggest that further work should examine how different doses of vitamin D may influence fall and fracture risks in women and men.
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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