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Brain Power: Vitamin D and Cognitive Function

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According to a recently published study, there is an association between serum vitamin D levels and cognitive function. The researchers found that higher levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (vitamin D) were associated with better scores on all three cognitive tests.

Brain Power: Vitamin D and Cognitive Function

Saturday, 13 June 2009 | Author: Chris D. Meletis, ND

According to a recently published study, there is an association between serum vitamin D levels and cognitive function.

In the United States, it is estimated that 6-10 percent of individuals aged 65 years or older have dementia and approximately 30 percent or more of those aged 85 or older are affected. Dementia is characterized by memory loss, difficulty in understanding or using words, inability to carry out motor activities despite adequate motor function, failure to identify or recognize objects, and possibly behavioral disturbances. In addition, it is believed that 19 percent of individuals younger than 75 and 29 percent of individuals older than 85 have mild cognitive impairment. Mild cognitive impairment is a less pronounced form of cognitive impairment that typically presents with subjective memory complaints and objective evidence of memory deficits but without impairment in activities of daily living.

In a new study, researchers investigated serum vitamin D levels and compared the data to cognitive performance in the subjects. The researchers evaluated 3,369 European men aged 40 to 79 years for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. The men performed several cognitive tests including the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure test, the Camden Topographical Recognition Memory test, and the Digit Symbol Substitution test. The subjects were also evaluated for physical activity, functional performance, and mood/depression.

The researchers found that higher levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D were associated with better scores on all three cognitive tests. After adjusting the data to eliminate other potential confounding factors, higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were associated with improved performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution test only. The study also showed that the strongest relationship between decreased 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and poorer cognitive function occurred at 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations below 35 nmol/L.

The study authors concluded, “In this study lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were associated with poorer performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution test. Further research is warranted to determine whether vitamin D sufficiency may play a role in preserving cognitive function in older adults.”

Reference:

Lee DM, Tajar A, Ulubaev A, Pendleton N, O’Neill TW, O’Connor DB, Bartfai G, Boonen S, Bouillon R, Casanueva FF, Finn JD, Forti G, Giwercman A, Han TS, Huhtaniemi IT, Kula K, Lean ME, Punab M, Silman AJ, Vanderschueren D, Wu FC. Association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and cognitive performance in middle-aged and older European men. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2009 May 21.

Source: http://hischangeoflife.com/J/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=48:newly-published-medical-studies&id=61:brain-power-vitamin-d-and-cognitive-function

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