VITAMIN D: Brain food
November 25, 2020 • 1 min read
-- Vitamin D supplementation improves cognitive function in older adults
Vitamin D is needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, and new research suggests that it also plays a role in cognitive function.
A 12-month trial found that vitamin D supplementation improved cognitive function, intelligence quotient scores, and telomere length in older adults.
Study researchers say supplementation appears to improve cognitive function through reduced oxidative stress, which can damage telomeres – the protective caps on the ends of our chromosomes.
As our telomeres shorten, we become more susceptible to certain diseases and, ultimately, die younger.
A good rule of thumb is to get a vitamin D blood test to determine how much to supplement.
However, if you spend enough time in the sun and enjoy red meat, eggs, and oily fish – the best natural sources of vitamin D – you won’t need to take vitamin D supplements. Though with the pandemic keeping us indoors more than usual, who knows?
1,000 IU of vitamin D raises blood levels by 5-10 ng/ml (depending on a person’s genetics). A good range is 40-60 ng/ml.
The U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for most adults is 600 IU of vitamin D a day.
Don’t overdo it – large doses of vitamin D can be toxic, leading nausea and vomiting, and in extreme cases progress to bone pain and kidney problems, such as the formation of calcium stones.