Studies have linked low vitamin D with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, it’s not clear whether vitamin D supplementation lowers Alzheimer’s risk. You can get vitamin D through sun exposure as well as your diet.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in older adults. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 million people in the United States are currently living with AD. This number is expected to increase to almost 13 million by 2050.
There’s currently no cure for AD. Additionally, there’s no surefire way to prevent AD from developing, although certain lifestyle choices may help to reduce your risk.
Some research has suggested that vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk of AD. Continue reading to discover more.
Research has also linked low vitamin D with a higher risk of AD. A
Results like these raised the question of whether or not supplementation with vitamin D could reduce the risk of AD. Generally speaking, results have been mixed.
The study also highlighted certain groups that may receive the most benefits from vitamin D regarding AD risk. These included:
- people assigned female at birth
- people with standard cognition, as opposed to those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
- people who didn’t carry the apolipoprotein E ε4 gene, a known risk factor for AD
The bottom line
Some evidence suggests that vitamin D supplementation may help to lower the risk of AD. However, results of studies looking into the effects of vitamin D on AD development have been mixed.
Additionally, studies have yet to confirm a direct causal link between vitamin D supplementation and prevention of AD. Overall, more research is needed into this topic, including larger, more rigorous clinical trials.
While vitamin D has many health benefits, getting too much vitamin D from supplements is potentially harmful. According to the
- nausea or vomiting
- reduced appetite
- excessive urination and thirst
- muscle weakness
- kidney stones
NIH vitamin D recommendations
|Age||Recommended daily vitamin D in micrograms (mcg) and International units (IU)|
|Birth to 12 months||10 mcg (400 IU)|
|Ages 1 to 70 years||15 mcg (600 IU)|
|Age 71 and older||20 mcg (800 IU)|
|Pregnant and nursing||15 mcg (600 IU)|
Your body naturally produces vitamin D in response to sunlight. While some research suggests
- the season and length of the day
- whether or not there’s a lot of cloud cover
- air pollution
- sunscreen use
- skin melanin content
Prolonged sun exposure is also linked to the development of skin cancer. As such, it’s also a good idea to enrich your diet with foods that are high in vitamin D.
Some examples of foods that are rich in vitamin D include:
Is there a link between vitamin D and worsened Alzheimer’s?
Results on whether or not vitamin D improves function in dementia have been mixed. Some studies have seen the benefits of vitamin D for
What is the best vitamin supplement for Alzheimer’s?
The organization does note that the most consistent positive results have been in studies of omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
How much vitamin D is needed to prevent dementia?
A causal link between low vitamin D and dementia hasn’t been proven. However, it’s known that low vitamin D can cause a variety of health problems. As such, it’s always a good rule of thumb to ensure you’re getting sufficient daily vitamin D.
Research has linked low vitamin D with a higher risk of AD. However, the results of studies on whether or not vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of AD have been mixed. Overall, more research into this topic is needed.
You can get vitamin D by sun exposure and via your diet. Individuals who cannot get enough vitamin D through these routes may need to take a supplement. Always talk with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your diet.