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Vitamin D deficiencies in older people can double the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Vitamin D deficiencies in older people can double the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Adults who suffer from vitamin D deficiencies have twice as much chance of developing Alzheimer's disease or dementia, according to a new study.

This new research, which was published in the journal Neurology, examined over 1,650 Americans above age 65 across the span of several years. The findings pointed to a 53 percent increase for dementia risk in adults with a moderate vitamin D deficiency, and a 125 percent increase for those exhibiting a severe deficiency. Similar results were found for those who tested for Alzheimer's disease, with moderate insufficiencies in vitamin D intake prompting a 69 percent jump in risk and severe insufficiencies increasing Alzheimer's risks by 122 percent.

"We expected to find an association between low Vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, but the results were surprising — we actually found that the association was twice as strong as we anticipated," said the study's lead researcher, David Llewellyn of the University of Exeter Medical School, in a press release. "We need to be cautious at this early stage […] That said, our findings are very encouraging, and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia."

While plenty of studies have pointed to oftentimes dubious associations between vitamin D levels and other health risks, many were quick to hail this new research because of the size and scope of its control group, having spanned a large population across several years.

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