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Link Between Vitamin D and Dementia Risk Confirmed

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posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 10:16 AM
Greetings, ATS!

Interesting information released from the University of Exeter Medical School.

The team studied elderly Americans who took part in the Cardiovascular Health Study. They discovered that adults in the study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 per cent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 per cent in those who were severely deficient.

source article

I saw this on the news last night and I have to admit, I'm a little concerned. I've read other articles in the past few weeks that indicate Vitamin D deficiency is also linked with heart problems, arthritis, major depression, diabetes, cognitive impairment, and more. Obviously, Vitamin D has a connection to many parts of the body, including the brain. This latest study adds an increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer's as part of the problems associated with deficiency.

We need to be careful here, however. As one doctor warns,

" We need to be cautious at this early stage and our latest results do not demonstrate that low vitamin D levels cause dementia."

The problem is, vitamin D deficiency is now a reality for many in the population. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a world-wide pandemic.

So who's likely to have low levels of vitamin D? People with limited sun exposure (such as folks who live in more northern climes, use too much sunscreen, or remain indoors excessively), people with darker pigmentation, those with kidney failure, obese persons, and the elderly. Your doctor can test your vitamin D levels with a simple blood test.

How do you increase your vitamin D levels? According to the article, there are three main ways. Increase exposure to sunlight, eat more oily fish, and take supplements. For some people, however, these steps are not enough.

I'm one of those people. I make it a point to be outdoors for at least an hour every day, soaking up sunshine. I don't really like fish but on my doctor's recommendation I take cod liver oil (ugh). As for supplements, my levels are low enough that I have to take prescription strength vitamin D and my doctor gives me a shot twice a year. Even with all this, my vitamin D levels are still under the recommended levels. So hearing on the news that deficient levels are associated with greater risk of dementia and Alzheimer's isn't exactly comforting.

You can find a plethora of information online discussing the signs and symptoms of low vitamin D. It might not be amiss to talk with your doctor about testing your level next time you have a physical.

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 10:22 AM
a reply to: smyleegrl

Vitamin D deficiency correlated with the use of synthetic sunscreen products?

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 10:22 AM
Nice find - thanks


google the ingredients of sunscreen/block ... not great, i never use it
edit on 7/8/2014 by countingdown because: a bit more

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 10:26 AM
It's interesting how many of the elderly have pale white skin. ie Little sun exposure.

Much of the mental illness concerns of the western world is linked to vitamin D deficiency.

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 10:27 AM
a reply to: InverseLookingGlass

What I read said that using sunscreen products "excessively" was a problem, and even using sunscreen with too high of a block. I'm assuming they referred to the sunscreens available in stores. Not familiar with sunscreen that isn't synthetic, so I can't help you there.

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:24 AM
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

I have autoimmune (Sjogrens) and with autoimmune comes very low vitamin D. I know that when I take vitamin D supplements, I can function better. I am of the opinion that vitamin D effects A LOT of different body functions.

To the OP - I'm glad you posted this study. It's important information.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 12:15 PM
I need to eat more sun!

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 01:03 PM
One other cause of the deficiency which is not reported as often (and not mentioned in the OP) is the wearing of clothing which covers almost all of the body. The deficiency in such mothers causes medical problems for their children.

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 01:40 PM

originally posted by: charles1952
One other cause of the deficiency which is not reported as often (and not mentioned in the OP) is the wearing of clothing which covers almost all of the body. The deficiency in such mothers causes medical problems for their children.

Thanks for pointing that out, I did forget to mention. One article I read added women in burka among the list, as well as people further north who wear additional covering to keep warm.

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 02:00 PM
Not sure yet what I think of this article. My gram is currently in the final stages of Alzheimer's, she also lost 2 other sisters, out of 8, to Alzheimer's, BUT.....They grew up down the shore. All of their skin is extremely wrinkly, yet ALWAYS tanned. They never believed in sunscreen. I'm gonna reread the article & think on this more. TY OP for posting. I've already sent it to my mother & her siblings.

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 02:00 PM
My father died of Alzheimers disease at 68 years old.

Since he had early onset Alzheimer I am constantly reading about preventatives.

Thank you for this article.

I have been taking Vit D for years now, live in the south and rarely use sunscreen (unless going to the beach or planning to stay more than an hour at the pool with the grandkids) Just because I don't like feeling greasy and stinky.

Makes some sense, my Dad had some non-aggressive skin cancers removed and totally freaked in his 50's. After that he never let sun touch his skin if he could at all avoid it. To I must admit hilarious extremes sometimes, you should have seen him at the beach, dressed with a neck covering wide brim hat, long sleeves, shorts, knee high socks, sandals and a heavy layer of sunscreen on his nose.

Don't forget all the research lately on Coconut Oil, I am now consuming 2 TSP a day at a minimum and cooking with it since a friend of mine told me her skeptical neurologist told her the literature convinced him about coconut oil.

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 02:13 PM
a reply to: grandmakdw

I myself am terrified of getting Alzheimer's, as it seems really progressive in my family. My aunt is showing signs now, & she's is in her 50's. I too started the vitamin D, iron(iron deficiency), & vitamin c. Haven't tried the coconut yet, or the all curing(?) honey....never use sunscreen, I don't stay out long enough to need it, but my skin tone is more olive color anyway, due to the Italian heritage.....I'll try whatever works!! It's so terrifying to me having to see my gram suffer, even though she doesn't know it.....sorry for your loss.....

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 02:35 PM
I take 5,000 IU of Vit D a day. If there was only one thing I could take the rest of my life that would be it.

Here is a great video on Vit D:

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 03:02 PM
No wonder I've been under the weather!

This is a perfect excuse to stock up on chocolate milk!

Thank you for the update!

posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 05:11 PM
a reply to: smyleegrl

Important info. My prescription does the trick so far - bit am glad my doc pays attention.


posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 05:27 PM
Not all causes of Alzheimer's are to do with a lack of Vitamin D, many people are not genetically capable of living to 100 or more, the make up of their brains cannot sustain long term existence.

Yet here in Australia when a teenager goes into a HEADSPACE centre that deals with youth mental health issues the first things they suggest is Vitamin D, and fish oil supplements. Why?

because a psychiatrist, was concerned at the amount of psychiatric drugs teenagers were being given resulting in even more problems in their later life.

Why? The majority of our ancestors evolved along a shore line in full sun eating fish and shell fish.

We didn't evolve to wear full covered clothing and stay inside a cave for 23 hours a day mostly sitting in front of an illuminated screen.

posted on Aug, 11 2014 @ 09:49 PM
Into phisiology:

The lack of Vitamin D is directly related to the lack of Calcium.

Vitamin D is what allows your intestines to absorb Calcium that comes from your diet
VItamin D is what allows PTH(parathormone) to take calcium out of the bones and supply the rest of the system that lacks it
Vitamin D and PTH increase the excretion of phosphorum and reabsorption of calcium in the kidneys (since they go hand to hand when being taken out of the bones, it would cause an excess of phosphorum if this did not happen).

Now think synapsis for a bit : most of human synapsis are done in a chemichal way, that being, neurotransmiters are released in a synaptic area (where 2 or more neurons communicate) to transmit the "pulse" to the next neuron(s).

That's all fine and dandy but:
Calcium is responsible for the fusion of membranes in general : that also includes the neurotransmiters found inside and at the end of the pre-synaptical neuron, they are inside vesicles that once in contact with calcium, will allow them to fuse with the pre-synaptical neuron's membrane and be released in the synaptical area so that the neurotransmiter can go and activate the next neuron.

Speaking a bit of the brain, there is nothing as complex as that, what studies show is how plastic and amazin it can be.... if you use it. If you do not use it for whatever reason, pretty much like a muscle, it will lose its efficiency.

Conclusion 1 : your nervous and muscular system in general = a mess
Conclusion 2 : depending on the degree it could affect your brain function hardcore
COnclusion 3 : human body is amazing

posted on Aug, 11 2014 @ 09:54 PM
Oh great!

My vitamin D level was ZERO a year ago.

I'm now on 3000 a day.

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