Scientists believe cognitive decline and other memory problems in humans may be mitigated through a diet rich in oily fish which are high in vitamin D.
A study, conducted by European researchers, compared the cognitive performance of more than 3,000 men aged 40 to 79 years, and found that those with higher levels of vitamin D performed consistently better in a test that assessed an individual’s attention and speed of information processing.
The results held true even when factors such as depression, season and levels of physical activity were taken into account.
According to lead author Dr. David Lee from the University of Manchester School of Translational Medicine, previous studies of the relationship produced inconclusive results, "but we observed a significant, independent association between a slower information processing speed and lower levels of vitamin D."
Vitamin D is primarily synthesized in the skin following sun exposure, but can also be obtained from oily fish, dairy products and nutritional supplementation.
Recent research has found Americans may be at a risk of vitamin D deficiency as its average blood levels appear to have decreased in the U.S. between 1994 and 2004.