Big news for your brain
I’ve got some big news about vitamin D.
It’s related to the story I shared last month: that a French researcher had found that dietary intake of vitamin D could predict whether a person would develop Alzheimer’s disease. Women in the study with the highest intakes of D were 77 percent less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in seven years, compared with the women who took the lowest levels.
Well, the connection is now even more solid. In fact, I think it’s safe to say it’s rock solid because scientists are saying there’s enough evidence here to start talking about actual cause and effect.
Why is that big news? Scientific researchers are taught to doubt. What looks like a strong connection could simply be a correlation. In other words, just because two things seem to be related does not mean one is causing the other.
But with the connection between vitamin D and Alzheimer’s, confidence is getting high.
In the latest review of the studies on vitamin D and Alzheimer’s, researchers found that people with Alzheimer’s disease had lower concentrations of vitamin D than people without the disease. On cognitive tests, people with higher vitamin D did better. Of the 37 studies, 30 involved only people 65 and older.
The lead author said the results are strong enough that it’s “clear that people need to [do the studies] to see whether or not giving vitamin D helps people at higher risk for developing cognitive decline.” She was also comfortable giving her seal of approval: “I’m pretty happy saying that vitamin D plays a role in brain health.”
To harness the benefits of vitamin D, Dr. Wright recommends soaking up the sun and working with a physician skilled in natural medicine to find your body’s optimal level of vitamin D. A general daily dose for adults is 4,000 IU, which can be achieved by spending 20 minutes in the sun with your face and arms exposed.
If you can’t get enough from the sun, cod liver oil is a good source of D. It packs in 1,200 to 1,500 IU per tablespoon. Be sure to take extra vitamin E if you supplement with fish oils, as it will help keep them from oxidizing too rapidly in your body.
P.S. Are you worried about vision loss as you age? Keep reading for an all-natural way to fight cataracts.
“Low Vitamin D Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease,” Medscape Today (medscape.com)