Huge Study Finds that Vitamin D Supplements Can Keep Dementia Away in Older Age

Huge Study Finds that Vitamin D Supplements Can Keep Dementia Away in Older Age

A big trial involving 12,388 people who did not have dementia at the time of enrollment found that taking vitamin D supplements might just help prevent dementia.

Researchers investigated the vitamin’s connection with this affliction for participants with an average age of 71.

More precisely, 4,637 people (37% of the group) used vitamin D pills while the control group did not.

In the group that took supplements, the researchers discovered that there were 40% fewer dementia diagnoses.

2,696 persons in the overall sample developed dementia over a ten-year period; of these, 2,017 (75%) had zero exposure to vitamin D at any point during the visits preceding the diagnosis of dementia, and 679 (25%) had baseline exposure.

Another thing they determined was that vitamin D is apparently associated with living without dementia for longer.

The leader of the research, Professor Zahinoor Ismail, stated that “We know vitamin D has some effects on the brain that may have implications for reducing dementia, however so far, the research has yielded conflicting results. Our findings offer key insights into groups that might be targeted for vitamin D supplementation. Overall, we learned evidence to suggest earlier supplementation may be particularly beneficial, before the onset of cognitive decline.”

Vitamin D was helpful in all groups, but the researchers discovered that female participants had benefits that were much bigger than those in males.

Previous studies have discovered a connection between lower vitamin D levels and a higher risk of dementia.

Amyloid, which builds up in the brain and is one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, is cleared out by vitamin D.

Additionally, studies have shown that vitamin D may aid in protecting the brain from tau buildup, another protein linked to the onset of dementia.

Additionally, compared to non-carriers, vitamin D benefits were much stronger among those who did not feature the APOEe4 gene, which is known to increase the chance of developing Alzheimer’s.

According to the scientists, those who have the APOEe4 gene have improved intestinal absorption of vitamin D, which may lessen the effects of vitamin D supplementation.

To test this theory, no blood samples were taken, though.

Co-author of the study, Byron Creese, explained that “We need clinical trials in order to confirm whether this is truly the case. The ongoing VitaMIND study at University of Exeter is exploring the issue further by assigning participants to either take vitamin D or placebo randomly  and examining all changes in memory and thinking tests over time.”

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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