Possible Connection Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Alzheimer’s
Several studies from universities in the U.K. and U.S. have revealed a connection between low levels of vitamin D and developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Home Care Assistance – Toronto/York Region, the leading provider of senior care in Toronto, recommends that their clients add vitamin D to their diet if there is a family history of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Even if there isn’t a history of Alzheimer’s in your family, adding the nutrient to your diet is still recommended. As a leading provider of senior care in Toronto, our live-in caregivers can make sure your loved one takes any vitamin D supplements.
The researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in Britain looked at an existing study of heart disease in the elderly that began in 1993. At the time of the study, none of the 1,658 subjects had dementia or heart disease or were at risk for stroke. The subjects gave blood samples, which were then stored at the University of Vermont in the U.S.
The samples were tested in 2008 for vitamin D levels. While a majority of the test’s subjects had sufficient levels of vitamin D, it found that 419 people were deficient and 70 people were severely deficient. By 1999, 171 of the subjects had developed dementia, with 102 of them developing Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the study’s results, the people with a vitamin D deficiency were far more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. While the study did not take into account whether or not taking vitamin D supplements or adding foods containing the nutrient to their diet would have decreased their risk, it did show how important vitamin D is to cognitive function.
Even though only a small percentage of the study’s subjects developed Alzheimer’s and dementia, as the leading provider of senior care in Toronto, we still recommend adding it to your diet, especially if there is a family history of either ailment.
It should be noted that the test results are from the 1990s and only four percent of the subjects with a severe vitamin D deficiency developed Alzheimer’s or dementia; the researchers even admit that it’s too early to tell if there’s a correlation between the two. However, since vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients the human body needs, having an elderly parent or relative add it to their diet has other health benefits, especially during the winter, when they might not get as much sun.
Adding vitamin D to your diet is as simple as eating oily fish regularly. One of the recommended methods for getting more vitamin D is to switch to the famous Mediterranean diet. As a provider of senior care in Toronto, our live-in caregivers will ensure that your loved one sticks to their diet. To set a good example, you should start following the diet as well.
Another way to get vitamin D, besides diet and supplements, is to get outdoors regularly. Our senior care in Toronto includes making sure your loved one gets regular exercise, even if it’s only a short walk or just sitting outside.
For more information about how to improve vitamin D levels, call Home Care Assistance – Toronto/York Region, the leading provider of senior care in Toronto, at 905-597-5825.
Doyle, K., “Low vitamin D may increase risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s,” The Globe and Mail, August 7, 2014; http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/low-vitamin-d-may-increase-risk-of-dementia-and-alzheimers/article19946507/.
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