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Monday, 8 April 2019

Vitamin D Deficiency, Sunlight and the Onset of Dementia: How Do these Relate with Your Health?

Have you seen a man or woman who’s fond of sitting down indoors and almost completely shielded away from the sun. Experts say, yes it may be good to be kept away from the extremities of the sun’s (harsh) rays, but it’s certainly not healthy for you to completely deny yourself the health benefits of sunshine which is also known as sunshine Vitamin(D). A number of health issues could easily follow as a result, experts say.

Sunshine health keeps you going (photo: Google images)

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that prevents rickets. Experts say about 90% of all the Vitamin D you have/ need is gotten through exposure to sunshine, while the rest of it can be gotten through your diet. But are there serious health issues that can arise as a result of the lack of Vitamin D? Obviously yes!

The Link with Cognitive Decline or Dementia
Beyond the ordinary health issues of Vitamin D deficiency, recent studies have shown that there is a strong link between the onset of mental deterioration of organic or functional origin which is known as dementia especially in elderly adults, and the lack of this all important Vitamin. For this same reason, three research efforts are aiming to see the possibility of vitamin D deficiency playing a part in reducing the risk of dementia, and slowing cognitive decline.

Two of the research works tend to agree, while the third one saw no independent associations in men. Meanwhile insufficient levels of vitamin D have been linked with the onset of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and MRI indicators of cerebrovascular disease or any disease relating to the brain and the blood vessels that supply it. This is an explanation given by one of three similar studies published recently in Neurology.

In short, more and more proofs have continued to suggest that vitamin D has a link with a number of pathophysiologic conditions such as age-related cognitive decline. A medical science expert with the University of California–Davis Medical Centre in Sacramento, Joshua W. Miller, PhD. Said, “There is also evidence that vitamin D suppresses the expression of inflammatory cytokines, thus potentially connecting vitamin D deficiency to inflammatory and vascular disease mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration.
 “With estimates that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in older adults may exceed 50% depending on time of year, living circumstances, dietary intake, and skin colour, it is reasonable to postulate that vitamin D deficiency can contribute to age-related cognitive decline,” he explained.
Enjoy the best source of Vitamin D (photo: Google images)

Lending further credence to this findings, another research scientist, Dr. Buell, of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, and his associates said, “Approximately 30% of free-living elders with mild cognitive impairment are likely to develop dementia and require institutionalisation.”
“If the associations seen here are confirmed, maintenance of healthy vitamin D status could prove a cost-effective contribution toward preservation of cognitive dysfunction and support lengthened independent living for the elderly,” Buell said.
Dr. Miller disclosed that, every evidence points clearly to one thing: he pointed out that whether vitamin D deficiency was a cause or an effect of cognitive impairment, it is very likely that demented adults must have been feeding on poor diets or lacking exposure to sunlight. Little wonder then, the followings show the adverse health effects of not getting enough of the sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D food sources (photo: Google images) 

Signs and symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency in adults include
  • tiredness, aches and pains, and a general sense of feeling unwell
  • severe bone or muscular pain or weakness that is likely to make it difficult climbing stairs or getting off the floor or a low chair, or make you walk with a waddling gait
  • stress fractures, especially in your legs, pelvis, as well as hips
What of Alzheimer’s disease?
Experts describe Alzheimer’s disease as the most common form of dementia. Most studies up till date still conclude that higher blood levels of vitamin D is likely to aid in the prevention ofAlzheimer’s disease, while other suggest that high-dose vitamin D supplementation can also help to combat the disease through the reduction of the abnormal proteins found in the brain - that are linked with AD. Experts say such affected adults could very well maintain their Vitamin D blood levels in the higher range of normal, yet, they advocate most of all that you get your daily source from your diet.
Ward off AD and Dementia; see the sun (photo: Google images)

What you can do
Experts have warned that in a much as it is helpful to go on vitamin D supplementation in order to slow or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, it is vital to note that an unguarded use of Vitamin D supplements can  lead to vitamin D toxicity. Therefore, nature remains the best option for everyone. Love your (early morning) sunshine and (late afternoon) sunlight. Get outdoors, feel nature.
Simply get a good daily dose of Vitamin D from the natural sunshine as well as from the foods you eat, experts say.

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