An Australian study found that vitamin D deficiency was causally linked to the development of dementia, and that both vitamin deficiency and excess levels were associated with decreased brain volume.
“Our findings have important implications for the risk of dementia.” Professor Elina Hipponen said From the University of South Australia. “We have observed that in this UK population, raising vitamin D levels to normal levels could have avoided up to 17% of cases of dementia.”
the studyIndividual vitamin D3 levels were measured as an overall estimate of vitamin D levels published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The findings show that individuals with vitamin D deficiency (levels below 12 ng / ml) are at increased risk of dementia compared to individuals with levels of approximately 20 ng / ml (levels recommended by the Institute of Medicine). Showed 54% higher.
In addition, in extreme cases, people with high vitamin D3 levels above 20 ng / ml were also at increased risk of dementia. Although those in shortage still had the highest risk.
Researchers have shown that inadequate and excess people are all associated with MRI scans, not only having less gray and white matter brain volume, but also having less total brain volume.
The reduction of these three measurements is all a marker associated with brain contraction and an increased risk of “decreased cognitive function and dementia.”
In addition, researchers also observed a tendency to reduce the risk of dementia as individual vitamin D3 levels increased from inadequate to recommended criteria.
MRI scans of various individuals with vitamin levels within this range showed a gradual increase in the amount of whole brain, gray matter, and white matter. However, this risk reduction trend ceases when the concentration exceeds 20 ng / ml.
As part of the study, researchers evaluated nearly 300,000 individuals in the UK database with vitamin D3 levels and MRI scans of the brain. Participants in the ongoing study were recruited from 2006 to 2010 and were 37 to 72 years old at the time of recruitment, and data collection is still in progress.
dementia Is a common condition commonly associated with memory loss and impaired judgment. This condition is often associated with brain atrophy, a contraction of the brain due to loss of connections with neurons.
Researchers have observed a non-linear U-shaped causal relationship between dementia and vitamin D3. This indicates that the strongest association between dementia and vitamin D3 is at the extremes of concentration levels.
The authors pointed out this relationship as a threshold effect. This means that the relationship between dementia and vitamin D3 can only be seen at certain concentrations.
Previous research It also shows the existence of thresholds in the form of non-linear relationships, suggesting a balance of intake of various nutrients.
Vitamin D Is an important molecule in our body’s metabolism and acts as an increasingly recognized “hormonal precursor” in a wide range of health effects, including brain health, Hyppönen said. rice field.
Vitamin D also regulates neural pathways in the brain. Discoveries from laboratory studies It suggests that vitamins protect neurons by balancing calcium in the immune system and reducing nerve inflammation. Low vitamin D is also associated with cognitive and memory loss.
Researchers said their study emphasized an important link between vitamin D and dementia and strengthened previous studies linking vitamin D to brain health.
The authors propose a larger study to “confirm the causal relationship of the proposed association” between vitamin D levels and brain morphology, and the causal relationship between vitamins and the risk of dementia. It indicates that it “provides an important opportunity for prevention.”