It is common knowledge that vitamin D is beneficial and necessary, but a new study shows what kind of problems a vitamin D deficiency can cause.
According to the study, adult and elderly people who do not get enough vitamin D could be at a higher risk of developing dementia. Previous studies had already identified a link between dementia and vitamin D, but the new study shows a direct correlation between the two.
"We expected to find an association between low vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, but the results were surprising," lead author David J. Llewellyn, researcher at the University of Exeter Medical School, said in a press release. "We actually found that the association was twice as strong as we anticipated."
Doctors say that adults, who do not wish to take vitamin D supplements, can try to get the vitamin with food or by spending a few hours in the sunlight each day. Eggs, milk and tuna all contain vitamin D as well.
Researchers were quick to say that although the study proves that there is a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and dementia, it did not prove that a lack of vitamin D can actually cause dementia.
New studies are currently being conducted to determine if eating foods that contain vitamin D will help reduce the risk of dementia or at least delay it.
— New Scientist (@newscientist) August 11, 2014
"Clinical trials are now needed to establish whether eating foods such as oily fish or taking vitamin D supplements can delay or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease and dementia," the lead researcher of the study said.
Until these studies are complete, doctors recommend that adults focus on eating foods that are rich in vitamin D, spend a little time outside each day and only take vitamin D supplements if they are doing these things and still have a vitamin D deficiency,
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