Vitamin D has been shown to improve a number of brain disorders, including dementia and its most severe form, Alzheimer’s disease,1 the latter of which now affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans.2
The latest mortality statistics places Alzheimer’s in the top three killer diseases in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.3 Vitamin D deficiency is also rampant. Researchers estimate that half of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.
Among seniors, that estimate reaches as high as 95 percent. While certainly not the sole cause of dementia, evidence suggests vitamin D may be a very important factor for successful prevention.
A wide variety of brain tissue contains vitamin D receptors, and when they’re activated by vitamin D, it facilitates nerve growth in your brain. Researchers also believe that optimal vitamin D levels boosts levels of important brain chemicals, and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.
Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on your brain through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, which are well established.
‘Most Robust Study of Its Kind’ Confirms Link Between Low Vitamin D and Dementia
The link between low vitamin D and dementia has again been confirmed with the publication of a robust six-year long study4 conducted by an international team of researchers. As reported by Science Daily:5
“[S]tudy participants who were severely vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease…
[A]dults in the study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 percent in those who were severely deficient.
Similar results were recorded for Alzheimer’s disease, with the moderately deficient group 69 percent more likely to develop this type of dementia, jumping to a 122 percent increased risk for those severely deficient.”
The authors concluded that: “Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease. This adds to the ongoing debate about the role of vitamin D in nonskeletal conditions.”