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Link Found Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Vitamin D
- Updated: August 7, 2014
In this particular case, scientists observed the levels of vitamin D in blood, which includes the vitamin D from supplements, sun exposure and food.
Dietary examples of vitamin D included fatty fish, like salmon, cheese, eggs and milk.
The researchers examined more than 1,650 people who were all 65 years old or older and were free of dementia. The scientists tested the blood levels of vitamin D in the participants and then followed up with the people on a regular basis.
After a six-year average, 171 participants had developed dementia and another 102 Alzheimer’s disease.
More interesting was those that had the lower vitamin D levels were nearly 70 % more apt to develop Alzheimer’s, while those with severe deficiencies were more than 120% more apt to develop Alzheimer’s.
The researchers said they expected to find there was an association between low levels of vitamin D and a risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia, but with the results, they found the association was twice as strong as they had anticipated.
In fact, their findings did not change even after they made adjustments for other types of factors that might affect dementia risk such as alcohol consumption, smoking and education.
The research revealed that it is crucial for older people to have sufficient levels of vitamin D.
The researchers said that the next step is for clinical tests to be conducted to establish if eating foods like fatty fish or taking supplement of vitamin D can delay or even prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s.
They cautioned that everyone must be cautious at such an early stage as the results are not a demonstration that low levels of vitamin D cause dementia.
However, with that said, the researchers added that the finding were encouraging and even if just a few people were able to benefit this would have huge implication on the public health care system.