The researchers are hopeful that their findings will advance their knowledge of dementia and its underlying causes.
The first investigation on vitamin D levels in brain tissue, specifically in adults who had various rates of cognitive loss, has been performed by a team of US researchers. Researchers at Tufts University discovered that those in this group who had higher amounts of vitamin D in their brains performed better cognitively.
The study, which was written up in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: “The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association,” is the first to look at vitamin D levels in brain tissue and may help researchers learn more about dementia and its causes.
According to estimates, 55 million individuals worldwide suffer from dementia, and as the world’s population ages, this figure is likely to increase.
Researchers must comprehend the causes of dementia better if they are to develop medications that can reduce or stop the disease. The director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Centre on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University, Sarah Booth, noted that this study “reinforces the need of investigating how food and nutrition promote resilience to protect the aging brain against disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.”
Various studies, including several studies of vitamin D, have linked dietary or nutritional factors to cognitive performance or function in older persons, although they are all based on food intakes or blood levels of vitamin D. Lead author Kyla Shea, an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts, said, “We wanted to know if vitamin D is even present for Best Foods for Improving Memory and Brain Function and if it is, how those concentrations are associated to cognitive decline.”
They discovered that vitamin D existed in brain tissue and that higher levels of vitamin D in each of the four regions of the brain were associated with improved cognitive function. The precise way that vitamin D might influence brain function is currently unknown.
Dementia is multifaceted, and many of the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie it still need to be better understood, according to Shea. “Vitamin D may be associated with outcomes that we have not yet examined but that we intend to examine in the future.”
However, specialists advise against taking excessive amounts of vitamin D tablets to increase brain power. 600 IU of vitamin D is advised for persons aged 1 to 70, and 800 IU for those who are older; higher doses have been associated with a higher risk of falling.