Take Vitamin D and Ward Off Dementia

Take Vitamin D and Ward Off Dementia

Vitamin D insufficiency was associated with faster decline in cognitive functions among a group of ethnically diverse older adults, according to an article published online by JAMA Neurology.

Joshua W. Miller, Ph.D., of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., and coauthors from the University of California, Davis, examined baseline vitamin D status and change in cognitive function as measured on assessment scales in a group of 382 older adults.

Study participants were an average age of 75.5 years and nearly 62 percent were female, while 41.4 percent of the group was white, 29.6 percent were African American and 25.1 percent were Hispanic. At study enrollment, 17.5 percent of the participants had dementia, 32.7 percent had mild cognitive impairment and 49.5 percent were cognitively normal.

The authors did not directly measure dairy intake, sun exposure or exercise, each of which can influence vitamin D levels.

The data support the common occurrence of Vitamin D insufficiency among older individuals. Independent of race or ethnicity, baseline cognitive ability, and a host of other risk factors, insufficiency was associated with significantly faster declines in both episodic memory and executive function performance, which may correspond to elevated risk for incident Alzheimer disease.

I take a supplement partly because I am Vitamin D deficient but also because I have osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis and the Vitamin D helps there as well. So something to consider.