Does My Brain Need Vitamin D Supplements?

Vitamin D
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Vitamin D may support brain health.

To function, the body needs the right fuel and building blocks.

Calories are sources of energy.

Vitamins and minerals are essential to healthy cell regeneration.

According to a recent MedPage Today article titled “Brain Vitamin D Tied to Cognitive Function,” researchers have long been interested in exactly how and to what extent vitamins impact the body.

Vitamin D supplements may not support brain health.
It is wise to have a discussion with your physician prior to taking vitamin D supplements.

Although Vitamin D has long been considered a particularly helpful vitamin, research has demonstrated varying results regarding its impact on brain health.

One recent study conducted by Sarah Booth, PhD and some of her colleagues at Tufts University in Boston demonstrated health benefits from vitamin D.

This observational study looked at the concentrations of a form of vitamin D known as 25(OH)D3.

While many other studies use blood or dietary intake for vitamin D measures, this study chose to focus on the concentration of the vitamin present in the brain.

The researchers conducted yearly cognitive evaluations on study participants.

When the participants concluded their final visits to the clinic, 36 percent had no cognitive impairment, 24 percent had mild cognitive impairment, and 40 percent had a dementia diagnosis.

Having higher vitamin D levels within four areas of the brain demonstrated a 25 percent to 33 percent lower risk of mild cognitive impairments.

Those with global Alzheimer’s tend to have have diffuse plaques, neuritic plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, Lewy bodies, and both microscopic and macroscopic cerebral infarctions.

The study published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia also recorded a lack of association between vitamin D and bio marker outcome or neuropathology.

Although many people may be tempted to read these results and begin taking vitamin supplements, doing so may be both premature and ineffective.

According to Senior Director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago, Claire Sexton, DPhil, not all studies have found a connection between vitamin D and brain health.

While there may be beneficial correlations, there is no direct research indicating causation between vitamin D and better cognitive health.

Because taking supplements may come with side effects, it is best to talk with your doctor prior to beginning a supplement regimen.

In my case, my doctor strongly recommends taking vitamin D3.

Consequently, I take larger dosages in the darker fall and winter months versus the sunnier spring and summer months.

Reference: MedPage Today (Dec. 8, 2022) “Brain Vitamin D Tied to Cognitive Function”

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