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Vitamin D Linked To Improved 'Mental Agility' Among Seniors

July 5, 2010 by  

Vitamin D linked to improved 'mental agility' among seniors The body of scientific evidence supporting vitamin D supplementation expanded last week with the release of a new study linking the nutrient to improved cognitive function among the elderly.

Home dwelling seniors often suffer from vitamin D deficiencies because of limited sun exposure, low-nutrient diets and poor renal function.

For the study, lead author Katherine Tucker, of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and her colleagues recruited more than 1,000 participants between the ages of 65 and 99 who were receiving home care.

The investigators did blood work to determine each respondent’s vitamin D levels, and then classified them as sufficient, deficient of insufficient.

The 35 percent of participants who had adequate nutrient levels performed remarkably better on cognitive performance tests than those in the other two groups. These examinations assessed a patient’s perceptual complexity, cognitive flexibility and reasoning.

After taking into account risk factors for cognitive decline, such as age and other mental health conditions, the link between sufficient vitamin D levels and superior neurological function remained.
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