A large, new study finds older people who don't get enough vitamin D may double their risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers in Britain say seniors with lower levels of vitamin D have a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia and a nearly 70 percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer's.
Scientists say their findings suggest more studies need to be done to see if eating foods rich in vitamin D, such as fish, or taking vitamin D supplements can delay or even prevent the onset of dementia.
Dr. Zaldy Tan, Meical Director of UCLA's Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program says, "vitamin D receptors may help boost memory, it can also have an effect in reducing inflammation. "
However, Dr. Tan says the study isn't clear whether low vitamin D levels actually cause dementia or if they result from it. The greatest source of vitamin D is sun exposure and Dr. Tan says people with memory problems may be less likely to go out and be exposed to the sun.
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