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Low Levels of Vitamin D and Cognitive Decline

Big question: will vitamin D supplementation prevent cognitive decline? And what should be a daily supplement dose for adults? An earlier post cited a Medscape article suggesting that taking 1000 IU of vitamin D3 daily would be a good daily level of supplementation. From Medscape:

Vitamin D Deficiency Predicts Cognitive Decline

A new study supports a link between low levels of vitamin D and increased risk for cognitive decline, prompting calls for clinical trials to test whether vitamin D supplementation may delay or prevent dementia. In a group of cognitively intact older adults, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels below 75 nmol/L at the outset predicted cognitive decline over roughly the next 4 years, independent of other factors.

For this analysis, the researchers looked at data on 1927 community-dwelling elderly individuals (mean age, 73.9 years) participating in the Italian population-based cohort study, Progetto Veneto Anziani (Pro.V.A.).

Dr Toffanello and colleagues say studies are needed to evaluate whether vitamin D supplementation might help to delay the cognitive decline, especially in patients who already have cognitive impairment.

David J. Llewellyn, PhD, from the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom, who has studied vitamin D and cognitive function but wasn't involved in this study, agrees. He told Medscape Medical News that this new study "effectively replicates" a 2010 study by his group showing a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk for cognitive decline. He said the Pro.V.A . study results are also consistent with a study his group published just this year inNeurology. That study suggested older patients with vitamin D levels below 50 nmol/L have about a 122% increased risk for dementia compared with those with higher levels.