Vitamin D Linked to Cognitive Impairment
Compared to those with optimum levels of Vitamin D, those with the lowest levels were more likely to be cognitively impaired, U.S. and British researchers say.
Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School, the University of Cambridge, in England, and the University of Michigan, identified a relationship between Vitamin D, and cognitive impairment in a large-scale study of older people.
The study was based on data on almost 2000 adults age 65 and older who participated in the Health Survey for England in 2000 and whose levels of cognitive function were assessed.
The study, published in the Journal of Geriatric Psychology and Neurology, found that as levels of Vitamin D went down, levels of cognitive impairment went up. Compared to those with optimum levels of Vitamin D, those with the lowest levels were more than twice as likely to be cognitively impaired, the study said.
In humans, Vitamin D comes from three main sources -- exposure to sunlight, foods such as oily fish and foods that are fortified with vitamin D such as milk and cereals.
"This is the first large-scale study to identify a relationship between Vitamin D and cognitive impairment in later life," Dr. Iain Lang from the Peninsula Medical School said in a statement.
People who have impaired cognitive function are more likely to develop dementia, Lang said.