A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to cognitive decline among older people, according to new research.
Scientists from the Peninsula Medical School, the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan found that levels of vitamin D were important for cognitive health.
In fact, as levels of vitamin D went down, the rate of cognitive impairment rose, they reported in the Journal of Geriatric Psychology and Neurology.
Dr. Iain Lang of Peninsula Medical School stressed the importance of getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D, particularly in areas where the winters are dark.
"Getting enough vitamin D can be a real problem – particularly for older people who absorb less vitamin D from sunlight," he said. "One way to address this might be to provide older adults with vitamin D supplements."
Identifying ways of preventing cognitive decline is important because these early memory problems can progress into dementia, Lang explained.
Folic acid and omega-3 fish oil are two other nutritional supplements that some health experts have recommended to help keep the mind sharp.