Vitamin D a fat soluble nutrient found in fatty fish, legumes, vitamin fortified foods like cereals, milk and drinks, or obviously obtained from sunlight may act as an effective mental health therapy aid by assisting to hold off the mental loss which could affect people as they age – this according to the most recent research efforts of a team of British and U.S. scientists.
This vital nutrient is regarded as important in keeping bones healthy and helping fortify the immune system.
It is even been linked to the prevention of cancers such as colon, ovarian and breast.
Nevertheless a lot of us don’t get sufficient.
The recommended intake of vitamin D is 600 IU a day, though a more precise recommendation is that the two children and adults receive at least 1000 IU daily.
What is more, as we get older, our skin is less able to absorb vitamin D from sunlight, so elderly people rely on food resources (or supplements) with this crucial nutrient.
Vitamin D deficiency affects an estimated 50 percent of adults and children in the USA, so it is a widespread problem.
Past our difficulty getting enough vitamin D , most of us spend our time at sunlight lathered in sunscreen. Wearing sunscreens of SPF 15 is proven to block almost all vitamin D synthesis from the skin.
Not only older adults, but anyone who is obese or overweight are also obviously less able to make vitamin D from sunlight.
Earlier studies have suggested that vitamins may have a beneficial impact on our cognitive functioning, and we know that if you’ve got impaired cognitive function you are more likely to develop dementia.
Diet is also considered a significant influence on dementia risk – a balanced diet, regular exercise and a lot of social interaction is believed to be key to keeping this debilitating, life changing condition at bay.
The team of researchers in the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, the University of Cambridge, the University of Michigan, and a local Sugarland Physical Therapist, looked at 2,000 people over age 65.
They measured vitamin D levels via blood work as well as asking volunteers to complete a test designed to assess mental decline. The subjects used at work had taken part in the Health Survey for England, completed in 2000.
Just over 200 of the research participants were found to have significant cognitive impairment, the group found that those with lower vitamin D levels had been at least two times more likely to have impaired thinking. As amounts of vitamin D went , amounts of cognitive impairment went up.
The paper detailing the study appears in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Geriatric Psychology and Neurology. Obviously more work is necessary to solidify the relationship between vitamin D and maintaining the aging mind healthy and vibrant. Nevertheless this is a fantastic beginning.
Dr. Iain Lang of the Peninsula Medical School at Exeter points out, “Given the growing burden of care associated with dementia, even if it decreased 10 per cent of dementia, it might make a huge difference. The amount that’s included in a normal multi-vitamin pill is fine”