Adequate Vitamin D is Needed to Prevent Brain Damage

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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A new study shows that low vitamin D has major adverse consequences to the brain, enabling an environment prone to inflammation and free radical damage, resulting in a situation of impaired cognitive function and increased brain damage.

“Given that vitamin D deficiency is especially widespread among the elderly, we investigated how during aging from middle-age to old-age how low vitamin D affected the oxidative status of the brain,” said lead author on the paper Allan Butterfield.“ Adequate vitamin D serum levels are necessary to prevent free radical damage in brain and subsequent deleterious consequences.”

This research showed that low vitamin D allowed excessive activation of NF-kappaB, the core gene signal involved with inflammation. This led to increased levels of iNOS, the inflammatory form of nitric oxide, in turn generating excess free radical damage to the brain.

Vitamin D is lacking in many Americans, especially in the winter months. It has become clear in recent times that vitamin D in higher amounts is vital for bones, cardiovascular health, metabolism, and reduction in cancer. Now we can add it to the list of nutrients that helps maintain brain function.

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