Vitamin D deficiency may cause dementia, study shows

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide, affecting thinking and behaviors as you age.

But what if you could stop this degenerative disease in its tracks?

In a study from the University of South Australia, scientists found a direct link between dementia and a lack of vitamin D.

They examined the association between vitamin D, neuroimaging features, and the risk of dementia and stroke. They analyzed data from 294,514 participants from the U.K. Biobank.

The team found low levels of vitamin D were associated with lower brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia and stroke.

Genetic analyses supported a causal effect of vitamin D deficiency and dementia. This means vitamin D deficiency may directly cause dementia.

In some populations as much as 17% of dementia cases might be prevented by increasing everyone to normal levels of vitamin D (50 nmol/L).

Dementia is a chronic or progressive syndrome that leads to deterioration in cognitive function. About 487,500 Australians live with dementia and it is the country’s second leading cause of death.

Globally, more than 55 million people have dementia with 10 million new cases diagnosed every year.

The team says the findings are important for the prevention of dementia and appreciating the need to abolish vitamin D deficiency.

This study is the first to examine the effect of very low levels of vitamin D on the risks of dementia and stroke, using robust genetic analyses among a large population.

The findings are incredibly significant given the high prevalence of dementia around the world.

The team says if doctors can ensure that no one is severely vitamin D deficient, it would also have further benefits and they could change the health and well-being of thousands.

For anyone who for whatever reason may not receive enough vitamin D from the sun, modifications to the diet may not be enough, and supplementation may well be needed.

If you care about supplements, please read studies about daily vitamin that is critical to cancer prevention, and vitamin B can help reduce drug-resistant high blood pressure.

For more information about dementia, please see recent studies about why singing may help people with dementia, and results showing this old drug may help treat dementia.

The was conducted by Professor Elina Hyppönen et al and published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.