We know Vitamin D is crucial for brain health, but is there evidence specifically addressing dementia and Alzheimer's? Yes!
June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month. Vitamin D is crucial for a healthy brain, and there is some powerful research specifically addressing the role of Vitamin D in preventing dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
What does the research say about the relationship between Vitamin D and Alzheimer's?
Recently, an article was published on the Alzheimer's Association website that stated that among over 12,000 people, those that took a Vitamin D supplement were 40% less likely to develop dementia. Interestingly, this article begins with: "Despite the association of vitamin D deficiency with incident dementia, the role of supplementation is unclear". How amazing that the researchers already knew that Vitamin D deficiency was linked to dementia, so they specifically wanted to find out if taking a Vitamin D supplement would make a difference, and it did! Keep in mind that Alzheimer's is a type of dementia, and the study referenced in the above article didn't specifically look at Alzheimer's, but at the broader category of dementia.
One of the key clinical features of Alzheimer's disease is the accumulation of a certain type of protein between neurons, which disrupts their normal function. This protein is referred to as "Beta Amyloid Plaque". The above-mentioned article on the Alzheimer's Association website states that Vitamin D plays a role in clearing these plaques from the brain. An article published in 2012 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease discusses how researchers believe that Vitamin D activates the genetic pathways and cellular communication that help the body clear these toxic protein plaques associated with Alzheimer's.
The last study that we'll discuss in this post refers to some impressive work published in 2022 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. They looked at data from nearly 300,000 people. They were trying to understand if Vitamin D status could affect the incidence of dementia and stroke. We know that there is abundant evidence that an optimal Vitamin D level could be described as that between 40 to 60 ng/ml. This particular study found that merely raising Vitamin D levels from 10 ng/ml to 20 ng/ml could potentially prevent 17% of dementia cases.
In conclusion, we find that there is more research on Vitamin D and the broader category of dementia. In time, hopefully, we'll see even more focus on the specific type of dementia called Alzheimer's. The research does show us that the importance of Vitamin D for brain health and preventing dementia can not be overstated. Can you imagine if everyone had an optimized Vitamin D level of 40 - 60 ng/ml?
Do you know your Vitamin D level? Are you dangerously low? Is your Vitamin D level optimal? Don't settle for okay, make sure your Vitamin D level is optimized. Ask your doctor to order a Vitamin D test today or use our convenient Vitamin D Home Test to find out your Vitamin D status.