Can Vitamin D Slow Cognitive Decline?

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Vitamin D can reduce the likelihood of dementia development.

Dementia is a concerning condition for those who are aging or who have an aging loved one.

Although not everyone develops this condition, those who develop it can struggle to live independently.

Loved ones often have increased concerns over the health and safety of their loved ones who have been diagnosed.

According to a recent MedPage Today article titled “Lower Dementia Incidence Linked With Vitamin D Supplements,” research has been conducted on possible protective factors.

Vitamin D supplements may support brain health.
Further research is required to determine causation between vitamin D and reduced dementia risk.

The results of a recent study conducted by Zahinoor Ismail, MD, of the University of Calgary in Canada and the University of Exeter in England and his co-authors were published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring.

The team looked at information provided by 12,388 participants in the National Institute on Aging National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) database.

All of these participants have a baseline of either mild cognitive impairment or normal cognition.

The participants were followed by the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers from 2005 to 2021.

Researchers assessed for exposure to vitamin D supplementation.

Specifically, it assessed for calcium-vitamin D, ergocalciferol, and cholecalciferol using NACC medication forms.

What were the results?

The researchers compared vitamin exposure to no vitamin exposure and found that exposure to vitamin D supplementation was connected to a 40 percent lower incidence rate of dementia.

This linkage was greater in those with normal cognition than those with mild cognitive impairment, in females than males, and in those who were not carriers for apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE4) than those who were carriers.

In addition to dementia instances being lower in the exposed group, instances of depression and mild cognitive impairment were also lower.

In all, 2,696 participants in the study developed dementia over 10 years.

Of those who developed dementia, 74.8 percent has no exposure to vitamin D supplements.

Those who were exposed to vitamin D had a five-year dementia-free rate of 83.6 percent and only 68.4 percent for those who were not exposed to vitamin D supplements.

Because this study was simply observational, causation cannot be established.

Further studies will be beneficial in gaining a better understanding of the connection between vitamin D supplementation and the reduction of dementia risk.

I have been taking vitamin D supplements for years and this observational study is just one more benefit to such supplementation without overexposure to sunlight.

Reference: MedPage Today (March 1, 2023) “Lower Dementia Incidence Linked With Vitamin D Supplements”

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