Men: Vitamin D may help keep your brain sharp

May 27, 2009 in Men's Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Men: Vitamin D may help keep your brain sharp

New research from Europe suggests vitamin D, the "sunshine" vitamin, may boost cognitive function in middle-aged and older brains.

In this study, 3,133 men aged 40 to 70 from eight test centres had their blood levels of vitamin D record along with their scores on a standard pen and paper test for attention span, memory, and cognitive processing speed.

Men with higher blood levels of vitamin D performed consistently better in the simple test that measured attention and how fast the brain processes information. Men with lower blood levels of vitamin D were consistently slower on the cognitive performance test.

This association between vitamin D and processing speed was strongest in men aged 60 and older. No association between vitamin D and memory was found.

Though these findings are not causal, they add to growing evidence that vitamin D does more than keep bones healthy, say the European researchers. Receptors for vitamin D are widely distributed throughout the brain leading researchers to theorize on the possible link between vitamin D intake and brain function.

These findings coincide with a new research indicating that most Canadians have low levels of vitamin D. The same report found less than one per cent of men take vitamin D supplements.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1,000 international units of vitamin D a day in fall and winter, and year round for those over 50 or with darker skin. Supplements are an important source of vitamin D as it's impossible to get the recommended amount from food alone.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.