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memory loss associated with low levels of Vit DNews research suggests older adults who have low vitamin D levels could be more prone to thinking, learning and memory problems.

The study, which is published in the recent issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, evaluated the results of interviews, medical exams and blood samples of 858 participants ages 65 and older and followed up three and then six years later.

Each time researchers repeated tests that assessed overall cognitive skill, attention and the ability to plan, organize and prioritize. Results showed that those with a high vitamin D deficiency had a 60 percent increased risk for general cognitive decline over six years and a 31 percent increased risk for developing problems with the ability to plan. No significant results were found when measuring the participants' attention.

"If future prospective studies and randomized controlled trials confirm that vitamin D deficiency is causally related to cognitive decline, then this would open up important new possibilities for treatment and prevention," the study authors wrote.

Vitamin D has been shown to have a role in preventing erosion of brain tissue, maintaining balanced calcium levels and decreasing the risk of Alzheimer's disease, but the researchers reported that anywhere from 40 to 100 percent of older adults in the U.S. are deficient.

An insufficient amount of vitamin D can lead to fractures, chronic illness and even death. Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because the most potent form of it can be found outdoors.


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