To Your Health
March, 2023 (Vol. 17, Issue 03)
The Anti-Dementia Vitamin
By Editorial Staff
Dementia: It's a word we all dread, even at a young age – as soon as we're old enough to start thinking about what life will be like when we're old. We realize that if there's one thing perhaps even more important than keeping our bodies healthy and functional, it's keeping our brains that way, too.
Unfortunately, dementia – the #1 form of which is Alzheimer's disease – can destroy our dreams of healthy aging.
Enter vitamin D – let's call it the anti-dementia vitamin, because research suggests people who supplement it when they're older have a lower risk of dementia than people who don't, pure and simple. A research team discovered that among older adults (at least age 71 at the start of the study), those reporting taking vitamin D supplements at baseline (any “vitamin D exposure”) were significantly less likely to experience dementia / receive a dementia diagnosis over a 10-year period. We're talking a 40% lower dementia risk if taking vitamin D vs. not taking it. Findings appear in Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring.
Now if you know anything about vitamin D, you're probably thinking: Why take a vitamin D supplement? I can just go outdoors every day. While direct exposure to sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D, it's also complicated greatly by factors such as skin cancer risk, climate / weather, etc. Common food sources of vitamin D (particularly dairy) come with their own health issues. That's why an estimated 42% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient according to the National Institutes of Health. Talk to your doctor to learn more.