The first direct link to vitamin D has been found

The sun could prevent dementia and stroke after scientists have shown a direct link between vitamin D and conditions in a global study.

A new British-based study said dementia cases could be reduced by almost a fifth if people with vitamin deficiencies took supplements to bring them to healthy levels.

It is known as the vitamin of the sun because the skin does it when exposed to light.

The University of South Australia team examined about 300,000 people at the UK Biobank examining the impact of low vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and stroke.

They found that low levels of vitamin D were associated with lower brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia and stroke.

Further genetic analysis supported a causal effect of vitamin D deficiency and dementia.

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They said that in some populations up to 17% of dementia cases could be prevented by increasing everyone to normal vitamin D levels.

Dementia is one of the leading causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide, and affects thinking and behavior as we age.

Globally, more than 55 million people have dementia with 10 million new cases diagnosed each year. Without any eye care, there is a growing focus on preventative behaviors.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect more than 920,000 people in the UK, a figure that will rise to two million in the next three decades.

The author of the study, Professor Elina Hyppönen, a senior researcher and director of the Australian Center for Precision Health at UniSA, said the findings were important in preventing dementia and appreciating the need to abolish dementia. vitamin D deficiency.

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“In this UK population we observed that up to 17% of dementia cases could have been prevented by increasing vitamin D levels to be within a normal range,” he said.

“Our study is the first to examine the effect of very low vitamin D levels on the risks of dementia and stroke, using strong genetic analysis among a large population.

“Vitamin D is an increasingly well-known hormone precursor for widespread effects, including on brain health, but so far it has been very difficult to examine what would happen if we could prevent vitamin D deficiency.

“In some contexts, where vitamin D deficiency is relatively common, our findings have important implications for the risks of dementia.

“Dementia is a progressive and debilitating disease that can devastate people and families alike.

“If we manage to change this reality by ensuring that none of us have a severe vitamin D deficiency, it would also have more benefits and we could change the health and well – being of thousands of people.

“Most of us are probably fine, but for anyone who, for whatever reason, doesn’t get enough vitamin D from the sun, dietary changes may not be enough and supplementation may be necessary.”

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The genetic study analyzed data from 294,514 UK Biobank participants, examining the impact of low vitamin D levels (25 nmol / L) and the risk of dementia and stroke.

Mendelian nonlinear randomization (MR), a method of using measured variation in genes to examine the causal effect of modifiable exposure to disease, was used to test the underlying causality of neuroimaging results. dementia and stroke.

The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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