Vitamin D and Women’s Mental Performance
Previous studies have linked low vitamin D levels with various poor health conditions, especially in aging individuals. Early this year, a study published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A showed that men and women who have insufficient levels of the vitamin are more likely to develop disability or limitations in mobility.
Two new studies published in the same journal now show that vitamin D may also be an important factor in the cognitive health or mental function of aging women. In one study, research conducted by a team led by Cedric Annweiler, MD, PhD, at the Angers University Hospital in France showed that higher dietary intake of vitamin D is associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study involved the analysis of data of almost 500 community-dwelling women enrolled in a cohort of the Epidemiology of Osteoporosis study. The scientist found that women who eventually developed Alzheimer’s disease had a low average intake of vitamin D (only about 50 micrograms per week) compared to those who had other forms of dementia (about 64 mcg/wk) or did not have dementia (about 59 mcg/wk).
In a larger study, Yelena Slinin, MD, MS, at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, and colleagues found that in a population of more than 6,000 community-dwelling aging women, low vitamin D levels were associated with greater risk of global cognitive impairment and global cognitive decline, as measured by their performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination. Very low levels (less than 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood) of vitamin D among the older women were linked with higher risks of global cognitive impairment at baseline. Low levels (less than 20 ng/ml blood) of vitamin D among mentally impaired women were linked with higher odds of incident global cognitive decline.
The Gerontological Society of America. Vitamin D tied to women’s cognitive performance. ScienceDaily.