Study Shows Vitamin D Deficiency Associated with Dementia and Alzheimer’s
This study “Vitamin D and risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease” just published in the journal Neurology, August 2014, should be a wake up call to all citizens of planet earth: take vitamin D supplements at adequate doses to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D, or risk brain dysfunction (you can read the study here… ). The study looked at 1,658 healthy older adults and followed them for over 5 years. Those with 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D levels:
>50 nmol/L = sufficient
25-50 nmol/L = deficient
<25 nmol/L = severely deficient.
If you are deficient, you are 53% more likely to develop dementia of either type, and if severely deficient, that rate was 122%.
My experience has been that grown teenagers and adults need 4-5,000 IU daily of vitamin D to maintain levels above 50 nmol/L, and when you stop supplementing your levels return rapidly to the deficient or very deficient levels. Newborns and children under 40 lbs (20Kg) should take 1000 IU daily, and increase that dose as your children grow.
If you are pregnant, what might brain dysfunction look like for your newborn? There is an ongoing study looking at whether mom’s who are deficient during pregnancy have higher rates of autism for their children. If I were having a baby, I would make sure my vitamin D levels were in the 50-80 nmol/L range which would likely require 4000-5000 IU daily.
An earlier study (which you can read here… ) showed you are more than twice as likely to be vitamin D deficient if you have schizophrenia.
Other studies (listed below) show that the current IOM (Institute of Medicine) recommendations for supplementation are grossly inadequate, and that our ancestors maintained levels in the 50-120 nmol/L range. Authors recommend nursing mothers take 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily, which I wholeheartedly support.
Unless you are outdoors with your shirt off on a daily basis and live close to the equator, you will not maintain adequate vitamin D levels if you are not supplementing this key nutrient. You will not get enough from your diet. This is the one supplement 90% of the human race should be taking. The benefits include neurological as outlined here, cardiovascular [link below] and so much more. See my earlier blogs on this topic at: http://www.integrativepediatricsonline.com/blog/
Other Studies of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D status indicators in indigenous populations in East Africa
- Adherence to Vitamin D Recommendations Among US Infants
- Association of vitamin D status with arterial blood pressure and hypertension risk: a mendelian randomisation study