Low levels of Vitamin D increases risk of Dementia by almost double

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A UK study published in the Journal of Neurology suggests that elderly people that have a Vitamin D deficiency have almost double the risk of developing dementia. However, researchers stopped short of recommending taking Vitamin D as a means of staving off dementia in later life.

Vitamin D is a nutrient and can be gotten from eating oily fish as well as spending time in the sunlight. The trouble for elderly people when it comes to the nutrient is that as we age our skin becomes less and less efficient at converting sunlight that hits our skin into Vitamin D meaning it is important to get it from food sources more.

The study incorporated data from over 1500 people in the UK over the age of 65 in one of the largest studies into dementia. Findings highlighted that elderly people with low levels of Vitamin D compared to normal levels were almost twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s and senile dementia.

David Llewellyn of the University of Exeter said of the findings "We expected to find an association between low vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but the results were surprising, we actually found the association was twice as strong as we anticipated."

The number of people in the UK with dementia now exceeds 800,000 and this research is sure to mark a valuable step in how to tackle Britain's growing dementia problem. Clinical trials investigating if taking Vitamin D in sufficient quantity from fish and exposure to sunlight can provide a buffer towards the scourge of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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