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Taking vitamin D every day may reduce your chances of getting dementia, research shows


Taking vitamin D daily lowers the chance of developing dementia, especially in women, a study suggests.

Those who took supplements lived free of the disease for longer with 40 percent fewer cases overall, researchers found.

Experts believe the vitamin may help reduce the buildup of amyloid plaques and tau, the buildup of which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Scientists from Exeter University and Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute in Canada analyzed a group of 12,388 people at the US National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center.

Taking vitamin D may reduce the buildup of amyloid plaques and tau associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to experts

About 4,600 — 37 percent — of the participants who had an average age of 71 at the start of the trial and were dementia-free took supplements.

About 2,696 people were diagnosed with dementia over the next 10 years.

About three-quarters (2,017) of them never took supplements during that period and a quarter (679).

There were 40 percent fewer cases of the disease among those who reported taking vitamin D supplements, according to findings published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.


Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 servings of different fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count

• Basic meals based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, preferably whole grains

• 30 grams of fiber per day: This is equivalent to eating all of the following: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat muesli biscuits, 2 thick slices of whole-wheat bread, and a large baked potato with skin

• Provide dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks) and choose lower-fat, lower-sugar options

• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish per week, one of which is fatty)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume in small quantities

• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water per day

• Adults should have less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide

Professor Zahinoor Ismail, from the University of Calgary and the University of Exeter, who led the research, said: ‘We know that vitamin D has some effects in the brain that may have implications for dementia reduction, but so far research has yielded conflicting results. Results.

‘Our findings provide important insights into groups that may specifically target vitamin D supplementation.

“Overall, we found evidence that earlier supplementation might be particularly beneficial, before the onset of cognitive decline.”

Vitamin D comes from food – such as oily fish, supplements and exposing the skin to sunlight.

Older people’s skin may be less efficient at converting sunlight into vitamin D, making them more likely to be deficient and more dependent on other sources.

While the benefits of supplements were seen in both sexes, the effects were greatest in women and those with normal cognition, compared to those who reported signs of mild cognitive impairment — changes in cognition that have been associated with a higher risk of dementia.

Experts believe the greater effects in women could be because estrogen levels, which are linked to vitamin D activation, drop during menopause.

This could lead to greater effects from taking the vitamin, which is often recommended for women because of links to other health benefits, such as bone health.

The effects of vitamin D were also significantly greater in people who were not carriers of the APOEe4 gene, which is known to carry a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, compared to non-carriers.

The authors suggest that people who carry the APOEe4 gene absorb vitamin D better from their gut, which could reduce the vitamin D supplementation effect. However, no blood levels were taken to test this hypothesis.

Previous research has found that low levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of dementia.

Vitamin D is involved in the clearance of amyloid in the brain, the accumulation of which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies have also shown that vitamin D may help protect the brain from the buildup of tau, another protein involved in the development of dementia.

Dr. Rosa Sancho, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‘The findings indicate that the onset of dementia occurs later in people with a history of taking regular vitamin D supplements, and that the effect appears to be stronger in people without genetic risk factors. or existing memory and thinking problems.

“But there’s more work to be done to properly understand this link — the study didn’t collect data on the participants’ lifestyles and health histories in the years before the study began.” This is a major omission.

“Extensive research shows that middle-aged habits and behaviors, such as keeping a healthy heart or not smoking, can reduce our risk of developing dementia later in life. In their research paper, the researchers speculate on how vitamin D may be linked to dementia risk, but these claims need additional research to be confirmed.’

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