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As many Americans worry about vitamin D deficiency, a new study finds a cause-and-effect link vitamin D deficiency And dementia, according to an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in April.
“Vitamin D is an increasingly important hormone precursor. [recognized] Elina Hyppönen, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Australian Centre at the University of South Australia, said: . For precision health.
“Our study is the first to examine the effects of very low levels of vitamin D on dementia and stroke risk through robust genetic analysis of a large population.»
This genetic study, supported by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, analysed data from 294,514 participants in the UK Biobank to investigate the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and neuroimaging features and risk of dementia and stroke.
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Hyppönen told Fox News that in similar situations, some people always have slightly lower vitamin D levels than others, simply because of their genetics.
Therefore, the study grouped participants with higher or lower vitamin D levels based on their genes to examine their risk of dementia based on their vitamin D status.
“If vitamin D has a real effect on dementia risk, then this type of genetic analysis should provide evidence for that too, and that’s what we’re seeing.”
Vitamin D is both a nutrient we get from certain foods and a hormone our body makes. According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which strengthens bones.
“Vitamin D produced in the skin is the main natural source of vitamin D, but many people are deficient in vitamin D because they live in areas with limited winter sunlight, or because they spend most of their time indoors and therefore receive limited sun exposure ,” according to the Harvard website.
But according to the Harvard School of Public Health, it’s difficult to get enough vitamin D from the foods we eat, so the best way to ensure adequate levels is to take supplements.
The article notes that this is the first study of its kind to show a direct link between dementia and vitamin D deficiency.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the gold standard for proving causation is a randomized clinical trial in which participants are randomized into different groups to compare treatment outcomes.
“We used a genetic design because it is ethically unacceptable to include patients with clinical vitamin D deficiency in randomized clinical trials if they end up not receiving the treatment they need,” Hyppönen told Fox News.
Studies have found that low vitamin D levels are associated with reduced brain volume and an increased risk of stroke.
He noted that up to 17% of dementia cases in certain populations could be prevented by raising everyone’s vitamin D levels to “normal” levels, which they describe as 50 nmol/L – the threshold for vitamin D insufficiency . Medical Guide.
“Furthermore, we were able to study the type of genetic advantage that people in similar situations always have slightly higher vitamin D status than others, and when vitamin D levels are very high, it is associated with a risk of dementia. Weak, ” Hyppönen told Fox News.
“The results of these analyses are particularly interesting because we were able to show that the effect of vitamin D on dementia risk was much stronger and probably limited to people with very low levels, suggesting that efforts to increase levels will only contribute to vitamin D insufficiency.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dementia is an umbrella term for impaired cognitive function that makes everyday activities more difficult.
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According to a press release, the CDC estimates that approximately 5 million adults over the age of 65 in the United States had dementia in 2014, but there are more than 55 million people living with dementia worldwide.
The study noted some limitations, including residual confounding variables that were not accounted for, even though it accounted for several variables that could have influenced the results.
The study also points to technical statistical limitations on how vitamin D is measured, and the results may not generalize to different populations because the analysis used to test for causality was limited to participants of white British ancestry.
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“If we can change this reality by ensuring that all of us are not severely deficient in vitamin D, then this has other benefits and we can transform the health and well-being of thousands of people,” says Hyppönen.
“Most of us are probably fine, but for anyone who, for whatever reason, can’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight, a diet change may not be enough and supplementation may be needed. … »