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High vitamin D linked to lower risk of Alzheimer's disease

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By David Liu, PHD

Saturday Spet 8, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study most recently published in the Journal of Gerontology suggests that taking vitamin d supplements may help prevent or at least delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

The study led by Cédric Annweiler of Université Nantes-Angers-Le Mans, France and colleagues showed that older women who had highest quintile of vitamin D dietary intake were 77 percent less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease during a 7-year period, compared to those who had the lowest quintile of vitamin D.

Vitamin d has been linked to cognitive decline among older adults, according to the authors.  The current study was meant to examine whether dietary intake of vitamin d was an predictor of the onset of dementia like Alzheimer's disease within 7 years among women aged 75 years or older.

For the study, 498 community dwelling women at a mean age of 80 years who did not take vitamin D supplements were divided into three groups, no dementia, Alzheimer's disease  and other dementia within 7 years according to the onset of dementia.  Baseline dietary intake of vitamin d was estimated for each participant based on dietary information from a self-administered food frequency questionnaire.

Women who developed Alzheimer's disease were found to have lower baseline vitamin d intakes (mean:  50.3 ug  per week), compared to those who were not diagnosed with the disease ( mean intake: 59.0 ug per week) or those who developed other dementia ( mean intake: 63.6 ug per week).

Vitamin D intake at baseline was associated with the onset of Alzheimer's, but not with other dementia.  Women who had their vitamin D intake in the highest quintile was associated with a 77 percent reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, compared to those who had their vitamin d intake in the lowest quintile.

The researchers concluded "Higher vitamin D dietary intake was associated with a lower risk of developing AD (Alzheimer's disease) among older women."

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