A California scientist has been arguing there is a good reason to conduct more in-depth research on the possible causative link between vitamin D levels and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. William B. Grant of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center, writing in the current issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, analyzes a growing body of evidence linking the development of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia to vitamin D deficiency.
The key piece of the puzzle, in his view, is that low serum levels of vitamin D have been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, depression, cavities, osteoporosis and periodontal disease.
These conditions, in turn, are considered either a risk factor for dementia or may precede its onset.
Scientists also believe the vitamin plays a role in inflammation reduction as well as brain development and function.
Grant says the elderly tend to be vitamin D deficient, and those over the age of 60 should consider having their serum vitamin D tested and aim to maintain it at the level of at least 30 ng/mL but preferably over 40 ng/mL.
Recent studies have found that the average blood levels of vitamin D have decreased in the U.S. between 1994 and 2004, and American teenagers are at a particular risk for the deficiency.
As a result, health practitioners have suggested increasing the daily recommended doses of the vitamin to as much as 2,000 IUD.