Vitamin D—the ‘sunshine vitamin’—reduces your risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
People with the highest amount of the vitamin in their brain tissue are up to 33 percent less likely to suffer from dementia, a condition that affects around 55 million people around the world today.
Researchers from Tufts University analysed levels of the vitamin in four regions of the brains of 290 people who had died and compared the results to their cognitive abilities that had been monitored when they were alive.
Those with the highest levels of the vitamin in the brain also had the least amount of cognitive decline—including memory loss and general understanding—recorded in clinical tests. The vitamin had a protective effect of between 25 and 33 percent, the researchers said.
It’s one of the first studies to measure vitamin levels in brain tissue. Previous studies have focused either on the amount of the vitamin in diets or in the blood.
Vitamin D levels tend to be lower in people from African and Asian origins and for many people in northern regions, where sunlight is weaker. For people worried about the risks of skin cancer, supplementation is essential.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 2022; doi: 10.1002/alz.12836