Millions of dementia could be prevented in the future if everyone had a sufficient supply of vitamin D. The world’s first study by the University of South Australia finds a direct link, and thus an important preventive approach.
Dementia is a chronic or progressive syndrome that leads to deterioration of cognitive function, thinking and memory with age. More than 55 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, and 10 million new cases are diagnosed each year.1 The disease is considered to be one of the most common causes of death at all. Getting enough vitamin D can be the key to preventing most future cases.
How low levels of vitamin D affect brain health
A genetic study supported by the National Board of Health and Medical Research analyzed data from 294,514 British Biobank participants and examined the impact of low vitamin D levels (below 25 nmol / L) on the risk of dementia and stroke. It has been shown that chronic vitamin D deficiency is not only related to smaller brain volumes – researchers have also used genetic analysis to find a causal link between solar vitamin deficiency and the development of dementia or stroke. The full report of the study was recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.2
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Adequate vitamin D intake could prevent 17 percent of all dementias in the UK
For the leading researcher prof. Elina Hyppönen’s results show how important vitamin D is in preventing dementia. And that it is therefore imperative to address the shortcomings that still exist in many parts of the world. “In this British population, we have observed that up to 17 per cent of dementia cases could be prevented if vitamin D levels rose to normal,” the scientist said in a university statement.3
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The role of vitamin D in health is increasingly understood
Hyppönen emphasizes the importance of vitamin D for mental and physical health. “Vitamin D is a precursor hormone that is increasingly recognized for a wide range of effects, including effects on brain health.” has a huge impact on world health.
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A discovery of great significance
“Dementia is a progressive and debilitating disease that can be devastating for individuals and families,” concludes Prof. Hyppönen. “So we have to make sure that no one in the world suffers from a severe vitamin D deficiency.” This is especially true for a population that does not have enough sun to produce the vitamin itself. If successful, it could improve the health and well-being of countless people.