Alzheimer’s: Linked to Vitamin D?

alzheimer vitamin d

Vitamin D and Alzheimer´s

 

No one would wish Alzheimer’s disease on his worst enemy.  Think of it:  your appearance is the same, you are still physically healthy, but you don’t recognize your family members, your home, possibly not even your own life.  Next to cancer or HIV, it may be safely said that there is no other disease feared as much as Alzheimer’s.

 

Vitamin D, known for helping the body to build strong bones and fight infection, may possess another benefit:  the ability to work as an effective agent against Alzheimer’s disease.   The specific Vitamin D, which has been shown to activate the cell signaling network, is Vitamin D3 (which comes mainly from exposure to sun light).  Vitamin D3 has been shown to clear away those dangerous plaques (referred to as amyloid beta protein) which have been identified as the material which builds up within the hippocampal region of the brain, causing a person to develop Alzheimer’s.

 

In several recent studies, researchers performed experiments and clinical trials by collecting samples of blood from two groups of study participants:  those who were free of Alzheimer’s and those poor unfortunates who suffer from the disease.  It was discovered that those participants who had the lowest levels of Vitamin D in their bodies exhibited the poorest cognition, scored lowest on simple memory and attention tests, and suffered the highest amount of decline for overall physical and mental functions.  In secondary trials, it was determined that those participants who had the highest intake amounts of Vitamin D  scored higher on the same tests, and showed the lowest risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

 

Other clinical trials found evidence that the buildup of these amyloid beta protein plaques on the brain, directly contribute to symptoms of dementia and general confusion (indications of Alzheimer’s disease).  As these plaques have been identified as a definite cause of the disease, it was a pleasant discovery to find that Vitamin D3 was one of the agents that could both prevent plaque buildup, as well as clear away existing plaque.

 

At the writing of this, while Vitamin D has been shown to work against Alzheimer’s, the ideal concentration for dosing has not yet been determined.  It is generally believed that those who are not getting a sufficient amount of Vitamin D3, that 600 IU is safe.  Of course, as with any change in medications, treatments, or supplements, it is strongly recommended that you speak to your primary care doctor.

 

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