|DEMENTIA LINKED TO VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY|
Neurology, January 5 2010
According to this new study high levels of vitamin D in the blood may help elderly people ward off dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. The study found elderly people with vitamin D insufficiency were twice as likely to have dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke as those who weren’t deficient.
For the study, Buell J.S. and colleagues from Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University examined the association between vitamin D status, dementia, and cerebrovascular disease among 231 women and 109 men aged 65 to 99 who participated in the study from 2003 to 2007. Of the participants, 23.9 % had dementia like Alzheimer's, 14.5 percent had Vitamin D deficiency, and 44.3 percent had vitamin D insufficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency was defined as having less than 10 ng/mL of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and vitamin D insufficiency was defined as having lower than 10 to 20 ng/mL of vitamin D in the blood.
After adjustment for age, race, sex, body mass index, and education, vitamin D insufficiency was linked to 130% increased risk of all cause dementia, 15% increased risk of Alzheimer's, and 100% increased risk of stroke.
As striking as these numbers are, and they are dramatic—130% greater risk of dementia, 100% greater risk of stroke—why isn’t there more knowledge and action amongst the conventional medical community? Having populations screened for Vitamin D status is a public health measure I could get behind. Though I would like to see the optimum range be the goal—50-70 ng/mL.
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