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Vitamin D prevents dementias

April 29, 2023
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Vitamin D prevents dementias

It is the vitamin that our body synthesizes thanks to the sun's rays, the vitamin that protects the bones and strengthens the immune system. And from today we know that it is also the vitamin that helps prevent dementia. We are talking about vitamin D and the study that reports this very important result is the research published in the journal Alzheimer's and Dementia thanks to the work of a Canadian team from the University of Calgary (Ghahremani et al, Alzheimers Dement, 2023).

Alzheimer's and vitamin D, what we know

Dementia, at present, is a condition that affects more than 50 million people worldwide and the numbers, unfortunately, are destined to increase with estimates that speak of 150 million in 2050 At present, the purpose of studies and research is to understand which are the modifiable factors, concerning diet and lifestyle, which can help prevent or at least delay these diseases. Vitamin D has been arousing much interest in recent years. Vitamin D, in fact, is involved in the processes of removal of the toxic aggregates of beta amyloid proteins and in the neuroprotection against the damage of the aggregates formed by tau proteins. On the other hand, aggregates of amyloid beta and tau proteins are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Not only that, low vitamin D levels are also associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's. All of these claims lead to the assumption that taking vitamin D as a supplement may help prevent Alzheimer's. However, at present this is still a hypothesis as at the moment the action of vitamin D when taken as a supplement is not known with certainty. The studies carried out up to now, due to the small number of participants in the research and the heterogeneity in the type of supplements and in the duration of the experiment, have not managed to arrive at agreed results, dividing between those who observe a benefit in terms of neuroprotection and those who have not registered it. Thus, the link between vitamin D supplements and brain health remains unclear, at least to date. Canadian research sheds light on this aspect and offers an answer based on solid scientific foundations.

Vitamin D prevents Alzheimer's, the study

Scientists were based on data from as many as 12,388 people, provided by the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center, a large database reporting the results of research conducted on dementia. Study participants were all adults, mean age 71, and healthy, with no diagnosis of dementia at study entry. Not only that, the scientists selected, among all the data provided by the database, only those of people who were medically followed for at least ten years and who were known to take or not take supplements containing vitamin D. Different types of vitamin D supplements were accepted, such as colecalciferol, or D3, ergocalciferol, or D2, and calcium-vitamin D. Well, what has emerged is that those who had taken vitamin D during their life, in the various forms listed above , had a 40% lower risk of developing dementia than those who had never taken vitamin D. The effects of vitamin D were greater in women than men, it is believed due to the different hormonal circumstances, and in those with normal cognitive function, with a 56% risk reduction, compared to those with mild cognitive impairment, who instead presented a 33% risk reduction.


Vitamin D really seems to be the vitamin of long life and good health, useful for the immune system, for the bones and from today we also know for the well-being of the brain. Vitamin D can be taken in supplement form, which you buy at the chemist's shops. In any case, always ask your doctor for advice before starting any treatment and to avoid exceeding the quantities, as excesses of vitamin D can lead to toxicity. Other sources of vitamin D are the sun, as exposure to sunlight triggers the synthesis processes of this vitamin, but also some foods, such as herring, salmon, anchovies, tuna and mackerel, but also wild mushrooms, which have been exposed to sunlight, egg yolk and in small quantities also fatty cheeses and butter.

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