Updated: Jan 3
Higher vitamin D levels in brain tissue may be related to decreased incidences of dementia and moderate cognitive impairment finds first-of-its-kind research.
The number of people living with dementia is expected to grow six-fold from 2019 to 2050, reaching over 150 million. Because of this, there is a pressing need for preventative measures to lessen the impact of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other forms of dementia as the population ages. Research suggests that dietary interventions may slow or avert cognitive decline and dementia by either influencing neuropathology directly or boosting resilience in the face of pathology.
Researchers analysed samples of brain tissue taken from 290 individuals whose cognitive performance had been monitored over an extended period of time and before the onset of any recognised cognitive impairment. The individuals had an average age of 92 years when they passed away over the course of the study.
The study's findings showed that vitamin D may be discovered in brain tissue and that individuals with greater levels of vitamin D in their brains also reported having better levels of cognitive function before they passed away.
Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin and pro-hormone, obtained mostly from food and sun exposure, is one nutrient that has gotten a lot of attention. Low vitamin D levels have also been linked to an increased likelihood of developing an auto-immune illness. Vitamin D affects many bodily functions, including bone health, Skin.
Daily recommended dose of vitamin D
The daily value (DV) for vitamin D is 800 IU (20 mcg). The vitamin D content is listed as a percentage of the DV on the nutrition facts label on food packages. This tells you what amount of your daily vitamin D requirement the food will provide. It’s best to get vitamin D from food or supplements.
7 healthy foods that are high in vitamin D
Wild salmon often contains more vitamin D than farmed salmon, although both are excellent sources of vitamin D. In a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion, farmed salmon has roughly 66% of the DV while wild salmon may contain up to 160% of the DV.
2. Herring / Hilsa and sardines
Herring contains 214 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving. Pickled herring, sardines, and other fatty fish, such as halibut and mackerel, are also good sources.
3. Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil contains 450 IU of vitamin D per teaspoon (4.9 mL), or 56% of the DV. It is also high in other nutrients, such as vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.
Tuna contains 269 IU of vitamin D per serving. Choose light tuna and eat no more than one serving per week to prevent methylmercury buildup.
5. Egg Yolks
Eggs from commercially raised hens contain about 37 IU of vitamin D per yolk. However, eggs from hens raised outside or fed vitamin D-enriched feed contain much higher levels.
Mushrooms can synthesize vitamin D2 when exposed to UV light. Only wild mushrooms or mushrooms treated with UV light are good sources of vitamin D.
7. Vitamin D-fortified foods
Foods such as cow’s milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereals, and oatmeal are sometimes fortified with vitamin D. You will need to check the labels to find out the vitamin D content as it can vary widely. If the product is not fortified, it won’t be a source of vitamin D.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D aids in the body's absorption of calcium. Important for keeping the bones strong and healthy. Adequate vitamin D and calcium intake is essential for healthy bones and the prevention of bone-weakening diseases like osteoporosis
While the daily value (DV) of vitamin D is 800 IU per day, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) differs slightly depending on your age.
Daily Vitamin D requirements average at 600 IU for people of all ages. All it takes is exposure to natural light and the right kind of diet to do this. A daily vitamin D intake of at least 800 international units (mcg; 20 micrograms) is recommended for those over the age of 70.
The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for calcium also varies by age. Children ages 4–8 need about 1,000 mg of calcium daily. Children ages 9–18 need approximately 1,300 mg daily. Adults ages 19–50 need about 1,000 mg daily. Over the age of 50, most people need 1,200 mg per day
While it is true that our bodies may produce vitamin D via exposure to UV radiation from the sun, this is not always the most efficient or effective method of obtaining the vitamin.
In order to lower one's chance of developing skin cancer, the CDC advises taking a number of precautions while exposed to sunlight. Methods include avoiding direct sunlight, protecting your skin with sunscreen, and donning protective clothing are all helpful.
As a result, getting enough vitamin D is most reliably and safely achieved via dietary means or through vitamin D supplementation.
Although it may be challenging, enough vitamin D intake may be achieved with food alone. Some of the best dietary options for getting your daily dose of vitamin D are included in this article.
Eating plenty of these foods rich in vitamin D is a great way to make sure you get enough of this important nutrient.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association: “Brain vitamin D forms, cognitive decline, and neuropathology in community-dwelling older adults.”