Vitamin D and Brain Disease
You really CANNOT afford to go short of vitamin D. Remember, it’s silly cheap, so there is no need to skimp. You can get 5,000 IU (plenty for an adult), 240 caps, for under $8 if you Google it!
Take only D3, by the way, not the very inferior form of D2. Vitamin D2 was the first synthetic form of Vitamin D. Vegans use it. D2 can be used to fortify foods, it’s in some vitamin D supplements and is the type put in all vitamin prescriptions. Therefore, don’t bother your doctor for a script. You’ll get junk nutrition.
Vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with a variety of clinical disorders and chronic diseases, including impaired balance, decreased muscle strength, mood and cognitive dysfunction, autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes (types 1 and 2), and certain forms of cancer. Woa!
This goes way beyond preventing rickets! It even goes beyond vitamin D as an immune stimulator.
Now, evidence is linking it to Parkinson’s disease but remember that’s not quite the same as saying it causes the disease (correlation is not causation, as the saying goes). For example, lack of mobility naturally a result of Parkinson’s may result in plummeting vitamin D levels.
In this new study, the researchers looked at 157 people with early, untreated Parkinson’s disease and found that 69.4% had some lack of vitamin D, and 26.1% had vitamin D deficiency at the start of the study.
That’s pretty bad in itself. But by the end of the study period, these levels had dropped to an appalling 51.6% and 7%, respectively. Bear in mind this means 7% of RDA, which is ridiculously low anyway.
Oh, and did I mention vitamin D is associated with Alzheimer’s too?
Yes, a British study, presented at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference in Honolulu (July 2010) showed that older men and women with low levels of vitamin D are nearly four times as likely to have problems with their memory, attention and logic.
Researchers have begun to think vitamin D is important to brain health by protecting the blood supply to the brain. It may also help to clear toxins from the brain, helping to break down amyloid-beta protein, the substance that is thought to play a role in causing Alzheimer’s disease.
A related report, also published July 2010 by some of the same researchers, in the Archives of Internal Medicine had similar results. It reported that older men and women with low levels of vitamin D don’t do as well on tests of reasoning, learning and memory as those with higher levels.
Participants completed interviews about their health history, had medical examinations, provided blood samples and took tests measuring thinking skills at the start of the study and again after three years and six years.
The analysis reveals that compared with participants who had sufficient vitamin D levels, those who were severely deficient experienced a substantial decline in thinking and in executive function—the ability to organize thoughts, make decisions and plan ahead.
And in case you are wondering: the authors say that the link between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive decline persisted even after adjusting for diet, health and other factors!
Better get some and start taking it, before you forget why you should!
[SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, March 14, 2011]
About the author
Keith Scott-Mumby MD, MB ChB, PhD is the author of several books, including “Diet Wise” and “Virtual Medicine”. He’s British by birth but now resides in California.
Learn more at www.alternative-doctor.com.