More evidence that vitamin D is good for brain22nd May 2009
More evidence has emerged that vitamin D has an important role to play in keeping the brain in good working order in later life.
A team from the University of Manchester carried out a study of 3,000 men aged between 40 and 79 across eight cities in Europe using tests to assess mental agility.
Those with high vitamin D levels performed better on memory and information processing tests, leading researchers to suggest that vitamin D may protect cells or key signalling pathways in the brain.
However, they remain unclear on why vitamin D, which is found in fish and produced by exposure to the sun, aided mental performance.
The findings, published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, come after earlier research suggested vitamin D can slow mental decline in older people.
Professor Tim Spector of King's College London, who has carried out research into the effect of vitamin D on ageing, said: "This is further evidence from observational studies that vitamin D is likely to be beneficial to reduce many age-related diseases.
"Taken together with similar data that shows its importance in reducing arthritis, osteoporotic fractures, as well as heart disease and some cancers, this underscores the importance of vitamin D for humans and why evolution gave us a liking for the sun."
He said that scientists already know that an individual’s genes determine vitamin D levels, explaining why people are so different.
Professor Spector said it was now important to study the best way to use vitamin D in prevention.
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Title: More evidence that vitamin D is good for brain
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 11455
Date Added: 22nd May 2009