Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sunshine vitamin fights 'mental decline'

Vitamin D is reported to play a critical role in keeping the brain in a good condition and prevent mental decline in old age.

While previous studies have indicated that vitamin D can protect individuals against cancer, artery disease and tuberculosis, a new study reveals that high levels of the sunshine vitamin can ward off mental decline.

According to a study published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, high levels of vitamin D slow down the ageing process in the brain, preventing dementia and memory loss commonly experienced in old age.

Elderly folk who achieve vitamin D levels higher than 35 nanomoles per liter are reported to perform better on visual scanning, memory and information processing tests.

Produced by the body when skin is exposed to sunlight, vitamin D protects cells and key signaling pathways in the brain, perking up its performance.

Scientists conclude that inadequate amounts of vitamin D in a person's regular diet can alter the mental performance in old age; they therefore urge individuals to add vitamin D supplements with the aim of tackling or preventing dementia.

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Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D see link this link