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Vitamin D deficiency is correlated with cognitive impairment later in life.

Vitamin D deficiency is correlated with cognitive impairment later in life.

A new study out of the University of California-Davis' Alzheimer's Disease Center has found evidence that older adults suffering from memory loss might lose their cognitive abilities faster if they have a vitamin D deficiency.

"There is a recent and growing literature on the associations between vitamin D status and risk of Alzheimer's disease/dementia, cognitive decline and brain atrophy," says Dr. Joshua Miller. He and his team looked at associations between blood levels of vitamin D and changes in cognition ability in over 300 adults across a span of five years.

The participants in the study were an average of 76 years old and included 158 Caucasians, 113 African Americans and 96 Latinos. 

Research conducted prior to this study has already found that over half of the United States population over the age of 65 has insufficient levels of vitamin D and that Caucasians are more likely to suffer from that deficiency. In those suffering from cognitive impairment, this deficiency level is even higher, with somewhere between 70 to 90 percent of sufferers lacking healthy levels of the vitamin.

The best source of vitamin D is frequent sun exposure, but safely getting enough sunlight can be difficult as you age. There are plenty of other ways to make up for that, though. Wild-caught salmon and mackerel are strong sources, as are beef liver, milk and egg yolks.

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