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Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Severe Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

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Vitamin D May Significantly Decrease the Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Yesterday I wrote about new findings on a daily aspirin regimen that suggest that practicing this behavior can significantly reduce the risk of three types of cancer and subsequent death.  Today, another important link is highlighted in the news between a relatively cheap and over-the-counter supplement, vitamin D.  A recent study suggests that suffering from low levels of vitamin D, even moderately low levels, can result in a stunning increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia.  In fact, in adults who suffered from lower levels of vitamin D, the risk was as high as 53%.  As it turns out, it may be beneficial to invest in supplements despite past reports that they make no difference to health.


Researchers Astonished at Unexpected Findings of Study

The recent study that detected the astonishing link between vitamin D levels and onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia looked at 1,658 Americans ages 65 and older who took part in the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institutes Cardiovascular Health Study.  Although lead researcher David Llewellyn from the University of Exeter Medical School says that he and his fellow researchers expected a link between vitamin D levels, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, they never expected it to be as large as it was.  Specifically, he and his researchers found that adults with moderately low levels of vitamin D had a 53% risk of developing Dementia, while those with a severe lack of vitamin D had a 125% risk.  That’s nearly double what the researchers expected to find and points to the importance of vitamin D on the brain’s health.  Similarly, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was 69% in those with moderately low levels of Vitamin D and 122% for those with severely low levels.  Researchers are still unclear as to how Vitamin D exactly works on the brain.

More Than 5 Million Americans Live With Alzheimer’s Disease

Currently, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.  The disease is devastating and is characterized by disorientation, mood and behavioral changes, distrust of friends, family members and caregivers, confusion about times, places and events, and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking. The Alzheimer’s Association website states that Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, although the risk and severity tends to increase with age.  There is no current cure for Alzheimer’s, but treatments can lessen the severity of symptoms and the progression of the disease.