Taking a vitamin D supplement every day could reduce your risk of dementia.
The nutrient changes the brain that seems to protect it from cognitive decline—and the effect is greater in women and those who don’t carry the APOEe4 gene, which seems to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
In a new study of 12,388 people with an average age of 71, researchers at the University of Exeter found that 4637 (37 percent) of them were taking a daily vitamin D supplement. In the 10 years of the study, 2696 participants developed dementia, but the rate was 40 percent lower among those taking the supplements.
The vitamin also gave people more years that were free of dementia, the researchers found.
“We know that vitamin D has some effects in the brain that could have implications for reducing dementia,” said Zahinoor Ismail, one of the researchers.
Sunshine is the major source of the vitamin, although we process it less efficiently as we get older. Dietary sources include oily fish, liver and eggs.