Vitamin D helps prevent Alzheimer's disease
A new study in International Journal of Neuroscience suggests that vitamin D deficiency intensifies the spatial learning deficit in Alzheimer's disease, a common form of dementia.
The study led by Taghizadeh M. at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran and colleagues found rats with Alzheimer's disease on a diet without vitamin D did worse in the Morris water maze than their counterparts that consumed a diet supplemented with vitamin D.
The authors say in their study report that early studies have provided evidence that nutrition is associated with neurodegenerative Alzheimer's disease.
Specifically, rats deficient of vitamin D displayed a poorer spatial learning ability compared to their counterparts on the vitamin D supplemented diet.
On the other hand, vitamin D supplementation did not significantly affect spatial performance.
The researchers wrote "although vitamin D deficiency strengthens the spatial learning deficit in AD, a supplement of 1,25(OH)2D3 does not effectively underlie the maze performance. It can be concluded that subjects with AD (Alzheimer's disease) must be protected from vitamin D inadequacy."
An estimated 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer's disease. There is no cure for the disease.
David Liu and editing by Rachel Stockton