Low levels of vitamin D associated with an increased risk of dementia and stroke

Vitamin D deficiency: Increased risk of dementia

Various studies have shown that in many parts of the world, including Germany, vitamin D levels is too low for a large part of the population. This can be dangerous. Because according to a new study, for example Risk for dementia climb.

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of dementia and stroke. This is shown by a study by researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA) in Adelaide. The results of the study were recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Lower brain volume

Vitamin D is a Prohormon (hormonal precursor), which is increasingly recognized for far-reaching effects, including on brain health, the authors of the study write in the journal.

Due to the growing interest in identifying modifiable risk factors in dementia and stroke, vitamin D has become an attractive candidate for its ability to maintain adequate serum concentrations through sun exposure, diet and supplementation, experts say.

Therefore, according to a statement from the University of Australia, the researchers examined the relationship between vitamin D, neuroimaging characteristics and the risk of dementia and stroke in their study and found:

Low vitamin D levels have been associated with lower levels brain volume and an increased risk of dementia and stroke.

Genetic analysis confirmed the causal effect of vitamin D deficiency on dementia.

In some populations, all could prevent up to 17 percent of dementia cases at once normal vitamin D levels (50 nmol / l).

dementia prevention

A genetic study supported by the National Board of Health and Medical Research analyzed data from 294,514 British Biobank participants and examined effects low levels of vitamin D (25 nmol / l) at the risk of dementia and stroke.

Nonlinear Mendelian randomization (MR) – a method to study the causal effect of modifiable exposure on disease based on measured gene variation – was used to test the underlying causality for dementia and stroke.

Professor Elina Hyppönen, chief researcher and director of the UniSA Center for Accurate Health, says the findings are important in preventing dementia and recognizing the need to address vitamin D deficiency.

“Vitamin D is a hormone precursorswhich is increasingly recognized for its broad effects, including effects on brain health, but so far it has been very difficult to study what would happen if we were able to prevent vitamin D deficiency. “according to the scientist.

“Our study is the first to examine the effect of very low vitamin D levels on the risks of dementia and stroke using robust genetic analysis in a large population.”ie Hyppönen.

Up to 17% of diseases can be prevented in some groups

According to the researcher, the results have important consequences for the risk of dementia in some groups of the population in which vitamin D deficiency is relatively common. Accordingly, it has been observed in these populations up to 17 percent of dementia cases could be prevented if vitamin D levels rose to the normal range.

The results are incredibly significant given the high prevalence of dementia worldwide. “Dementia is a progressive and debilitating disease that can be devastating for individuals and families.”, sagt Prof. Jump.

“If we can change this reality by making sure none of us have a severe vitamin D deficiency, there would be other benefits and we could.” Health and transforms the well-being of thousands. “

For anyone who, for whatever reason, does not get enough vitamin D from the sun, dietary changes may not be enough nutritional supplement may be necessary, the expert concludes. (advertisement)

Author and resource information

This text conforms to the specifications of the medical literature, medical recommendations and current studies and has been reviewed by medical experts.


  • University of South Australia: Vitamin D deficiency leads to dementia, (Abruf: 15.06.2022), University of South Australia
  • Shreeya S Navale, Anwar Mulugeta, Ang Zhou, David J Llewellyn, Elina Hyppönen: Vitamin D and Brain Health: Observational and Mendelian Randomization Study; in: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, (published: 22.04.2022), The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It can’t replace a doctor’s visit.

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