Friday, January 23, 2009

Vitamin D Beneficial to Mental Health in Elderly

New research bolsters claims that vitamin D can help downplay the effects of senility and mental decline in the elderly. While the idea has been forwarded in the past, doctors have cautioned more research is needed. Likewise, Alzheimer's charities agreed the findings were positive, but inconclusive.

Younger people generally get enough vitamin D through exposure to sunlight and diet, but as one grows older, vitamin D is not so easily absorbed. Diminished amounts of vitamin D can lead to poor health in general, as it is important to both bones and the immune system, but according to this study, also cognitive function. And those with impaired cognitive function are at the greatest risk for developing dementia. Older people need to change their diets to increase their vitamin D intake. While supplements are often suggested, they are actually far more difficult for the body to absorb.

This has been of great concern to Alzheimer's patients and researchers. The links between dementia and Alzheimer's are still unknown.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

No comments:

Post a Comment