Vitamin D deficiency linked to increased risk of dementia and stroke
- More than 55 million people worldwide live with dementia, with researchers estimating that number will reach 78 million by 2030.
- Researchers from the University of South Australia have found evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk of dementia and stroke.
- Scientists agree that more research is needed to fully understand the link between vitamin D and increased risk of dementia.
Vitamin D has long been touted as an important part of a person’s health. Not only is it crucial for
Additionally, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to diabetes,
In addition to this list, researchers at the University of South Australia believe they have evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk of dementia and stroke.
The study has just been published in
The term “dementia” refers to a
More than 55 million people worldwide live with dementia. Researchers believe that number will rise to 78 million by 2030.
The most common type of dementia is
Other types of dementia include:
In addition to vascular dementia caused by stroke,
Researchers analyzed genetic data from nearly 295,000 participants in the UK Biobank biomedical database for this study. Scientists measured variations in participants’ genes to determine the impact of low vitamin D levels on a person’s brain neuroimaging and their risk of dementia and stroke.
Researchers have associated a lower level of vitamin D with a
According to Professor Elina Hyppönen, Principal Investigator and Director of the Australian Center for Precision Health at the University of South Australia, researchers have long suspected that vitamin D may have implications for the development of neurocognitive diseases such as dementia. However, evidence as to whether these effects are causal has been lacking.
“Indeed, it has been very difficult to prove the effects of vitamin D on brain health or other diseases, largely because clinical trials in people who are clinically vitamin D deficient would not be ethical to conduct” , said Professor Hyppönen. Medical News Today.
“Therefore, using a new genetic design, we wanted to see if we could provide causal evidence for a role for vitamin D in brain health, and more specifically, to see if improving vitamin D status in people who are vitamin D deficient would help,” she explained.
Previous research — including a study in 2018 that conducted a systematic review and analysis of more than 70 clinical and preclinical studies on the role of vitamin D in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease — concluded that there was no concrete evidence that vitamin D was neuroprotective.
However, more recent research supports a role vitamin D may play in preventing dementia.
When asked how this research could help prevent dementia and strokes in the future, Hyppönen said this research highlights the importance of preventing and avoiding vitamin D deficiency.
“This will likely be helpful not only for dementia risk, but also for overall health,” she added. “In my view, food fortification strategies with vitamin D need to be seriously considered, and in countries where this has already been done, it has been possible to increase concentrations at the population level.”
And Hyppönen said she was already planning the next steps for this research.
“It is important to work further to determine which of the proposed health effects of vitamin D are truly causal and whether the serum concentration thresholds that are supported by our work so far also apply to other outcomes for health,” she explained.
Dr. Heather Snyder, vice president of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer’s Association, is also interested in seeing the next steps in research for these findings.
“This is an interesting study exploring the link between vitamin D deficiency and dementia risk, and adds an interesting additional link suggesting there may be a genetic component that gives more insight into this relationship. “, she said. DTM. “That being said, more research is needed, including intervention studies to determine whether stabilizing vitamin D levels would have a beneficial effect in reducing the risk of dementia.”
“All of this to say that the body and the brain are closely linked and it’s important to take care of your overall health and well-being, including vitamin levels,” Snyder added. “Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your health, including memory problems.”