A new population study conducted by researchers from the Peninsula Medical School, the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan, in which more than 2,000 people over 65 participated, found that vitamin D deficiency in older people could be related to cognitive disabilities.
In the study, the first large-scale of this type, it was observed that people with normal cognitive function had higher levels of serum vitamin D than those with cognitive disabilities. On the other hand, people with the lowest concentrations had a 4 times higher probability of cognitive disability.
Vitamin D is one of the most studied vitamins and has been shown to have a lot of health benefits. In adults, its deficiency can accelerate or increase problems such as: osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures and autoimmune, infectious and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, there is some evidence about their actions in reducing the incidence of various types of cancer and diabetes.
Humans can synthesize vitamin D through a dermal reaction that requires sun exposure. This ability decreases with age, so the elderly have a higher risk of deficiency of this vitamin, especially if they do not go outside much.
The results of this study are added to previous ones, demonstrating that vitamin D has a very important role in neuronal development and neuroprotection. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation could be a simple and economical strategy to reduce the risk of dementia at these ages.
Reference: Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration and Cognitive Impairment; Llewellyn DJ, Langa K, Lang I.; Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2008 Dec 10.