Low Vitamin D, Alzheimer’s Linked in Women
According to a pair of new studies recently published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences¹, vitamin D intake appears to be an extremely important determining factor relative to a woman’s propensity to develop Alzheimer’s Disease with age.
The study, which involved a whopping 6,257 senior women participants, suggested that women with the lowest vitamin D levels are the most likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and/or experience other cognitive decline with age. The findings appear to be consistent with trending data emerging from other unrelated studies showing an increased risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis among women who vitamin D deficient.
The study, which was headed up by Yelena Slinin, MD, MS, at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, found that women with insufficient levels of vitamin D were noticeably more susceptible to global cognitive impairment and a higher risk of global cognitive decline.
The extent of the women’s cognitive capabilities was drawn from the Mini-Mental State Examination (aka: Trail Making Test Part B). “Low” levels of vitamin D were defined as less than 20 nanograms per milliliter, with “very low levels” defined as less than 10 nanograms per milliliter. Women whose range fell within the former grouping were more likely to experience cognitive decline progressively with age, whereas the latter group experienced cognitive decline “at baseline”.
These studies are not the first of their kind, and reinforce the notion that obtaining adequate levels of vitamin D is critical to long-term cognitive health, as well as short-and-long-term health in a myriad of other ways (see all other postings to this blog for more on that).
It is imperative that men and women alike obtain sufficient vitamin D intake. This can occur in two ways, with no evidence indicating either to be superior to the other. The first is sun exposure: sunlight making contact with bare skin for sustained periods of time. This method necessarily requires wearing minimal (if any) clothing while sunbathing during the months when weather and temperatures permit such activities. The Vitamin D3 Blog recommends to anyone contemplating going without clothing altogether to do so in a private setting where no laws will be broken in the process.
The second method is vitamin D3 supplementation. You might have noticed that for the first time in this article, the numeral “3″ appears following the term “vitamin D”. This is deliberate, and absolutely critical if one chooses to go the route of supplements.
There are two forms of vitamin D currently processed and sold as supplements. One form, vitamin D2, is a synthetic compound typically manufactured from plant-based materials. Vitamin D2 does not absorb nearly as well as does D3, the natural form obtained via sun exposure. D3 is the same compound manufactured within the body as a byproduct of direct exposure to sunlight. This form is far more effective as an oral supplement, and the Vitamin D3 Blog advises anyone relying on supplementation to meet their vitamin D needs do so with vitamin D3 supplements as opposed to those containing D2.
Vitamin D3 supplements generally come in the form of small capsules, which are ingested orally as one would do with most any other vitamin or supplement. However, recent developments have led to a new technological breakthrough within the world of vitamin D supplements. That breakthrough is a very high-quality liquid form that comes in a small bottle with a dropper. Those who use such supplements are advised to follow the instructions of their physician (or go by label instructions). The drops of this liquid vitamin D3 supplement are administered under the tongue (sublingually) according to either the manufacturer’s label instructions or better yet those of the user’s personal physician.
Any of these methods (regular, routine and sustained sunbathing), powder-filled capsules and sublingual liquid D3 supplements are all adequate means of ingesting sufficient amounts of vitamin D.
The Vitamin D3 Blog advises readers to take a simple blood test known as a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. This test measures the levels of the nutrient present in one’s blood serum. The specific dosage recommended for each individual ideally would vary based upon the results of this simple, affordable and potentially life-saving blood test.