Vitamin D May Have Key Role In Helping Brain Work Well In Later Life
Vitamin D may have a key role in helping the brain to keep working well in later life, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
Previous research indicates that inadequate vitamin D intake may be linked to poorer mental agility in the ageing brain, but the results have been inconsistent.
The researchers base their current findings on just over 3000 European men between the ages of 40 and 79, who were all part of the international European Male Ageing Study, drawn from eight different cities across Europe.
Their mental agility was assessed using a range of tests, designed to measure memory and speed of information processing as well as mood and physical activity levels, both of which affect mental agility.
Blood samples were then taken to measure circulating levels of vitamin D, which is obtained through dietary sources and by exposure to sunlight.
High circulating vitamin D levels were associated with high scores on the memory and information processing tests, but after adjusting for mood and physical activity, the association remained for only one of the two information processing tests.
Low vitamin D levels were associated with poor scores, with levels of 35 nmol/litre or under marking the threshold of poorer performance.
Experimental data point to the biological plausibility for an association between low circulating levels of vitamin D and poorer mental agility, but exactly how the two might be connected is not clear, say the authors.
Possible suggestions include vitamin D's role in increasing certain hormonal activity or the protection of neurones and chemical signalling pathways.
The findings show that the magnitude of the association between vitamin D level and mental agility was comparatively small, say the authors.
But if it were possible to stave off the effects of ageing on the brain with vitamin D supplements, then the implications for population health could be quite significant, they contend, because many people, particularly in older age, are vitamin D deficient.
Journal Of Neurology Neurosurgery And Psychiatry
There are no references listed for this article.
Visit our Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Journal Of Neurology Neurosurgery And Psychiatry. "Vitamin D May Have Key Role In Helping Brain Work Well In Later Life." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 21 May. 2009. Web.
26 Sep. 2016. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/150939.php>
Journal Of Neurology Neurosurgery And Psychiatry. (2009, May 21). "Vitamin D May Have Key Role In Helping Brain Work Well In Later Life." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.