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Low Vitamin D Associated with Higher Cognitive Decline

While best known for aiding bone and muscle health, recent research suggests that vitamin D may also provide neuroprotective benefits. One such study suggests that low vitamin D levels may be associated with a higher risk of cognitive decline later in life.


Participants in the study included 1,202 Chinese adults who were 60 years old or older who took part in the Chinese Longitudinal Health Longevity Survey. The researchers measured their baseline vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study and then measured their cognitive abilities over the consecutive two years.


The researchers found that regardless of gender or advanced age, the participants with lower vitamin D levels at the onset of the study were approximately twice as likely to show significant cognitive decline over the two years. Additionally, low vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study were associated with a 2-3 times increased risk of future cognitive impairment.


Researchers from Duke-NUS Medical School conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on July 12, 2016, in The Journals of Gerontology.


Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration. Additionally, previous studies have found a connection between vitamin D deficiency and inflammatory bowel disease.


Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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