Low Vitamin D Increases the Risk for Alzheimer’s

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Researchers at the University of Miami have demonstrated a precise gene signaling mechanism that explains how low vitamin D increases the development of amyloid proteins, which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  This study is of extreme importance to public health, considering the epidemic of cognitive dysfunction in our elderly as well as rampant vitamin D deficiency.

Researchers looked at gene signaling in relation to the vitamin D receptor in 492 late onset Alzheimer’s patients and 496 control subjects.  They identified precise gene signaling that went haywire in nerve cells when the vitamin D receptor lacked activation, resulting in increased formation of brain tangles. They also showed that vitamin D treatment was able to suppress the formation of amyloid protein. 

The researchers stated, “Our findings are consistent with epidemiology studies suggesting that vitamin D insufficiency increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.”

We now know that many nutrients can help prevent Alzheimer’s.  And the sooner you begin working on improving your memory the better.  Because inflammation is a common theme of Alzheimer’s related problems and because vitamin D is required to “place a lid” on inflammatory excess, it is not surprising to find a link between this nutrient and Alzheimer’s.

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