As we know now, having a low level of vitamin D within your system isn’t just dangerous – it can be threatening to your very ability to just get things done on a daily basis. Rather than letting these problems eat you up inside, though, the problems that a lack of vitamin D can bring on can be more mental rather than physical. It’s been proven by various sources and experts now that a low level of vitamin D actively increases your chances of dealing with dementia at a later stage of life.
This can be a hugely terrifying thing to hear – dementia is one of the most debilitating illnesses around. It has the ability to turn even the most mentally agile and strong minded individuals into a gibbering wreck, destroying the minds ability to retain even basic information like who is talking to you. Therefore, it’s important that you can give your body all the help it needs in dealing with issues like this – very few illnesses out there can cause the same widespread havoc as dementia.
By effectively removing your ability to look after yourself, dementia takes an incredible toll on your body and can leave you in a very weak position. Not only will you require help from others to get through the most basic facets of the day, but you’ll effectively have no ability to contribute in a job or a career path any longer – so vitamin D is vital!
What’s The Link?
A study carried out by Dr. Mercola shows that Vitamin D has been proven to have a link to brain disorders and their ability to form – including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is an illness that impacts on 5.2m Americans, as well as countless members of their close friends and family circles.
As one of the top three killers in the whole of the United States – sitting roughly just behind the links of cancer and heart disease – it’s vital that changes are made to society to help deal with this significant problem. Without the right tools to combat dementia and other mental illnesses, there is very little that can be done to stop that large number from growing in the years to come.
If you were to look at the rate of illness within the United States – Vitamin D deficiency are one of the highest. It’s estimated that not too far from half of the United States could be using a little bit more Vitamin D in their diets! In fact, when you go to the senior side of things, this number can reach a barely comprehensibly 95% of the senior population.
So, how can this be brought together? What is the link between the deficiency of vitamin D – especially in seniors – and mental fragility?
Whilst it’s not the sole cause of why people suffer from dementia, it’s one of the most potent factors around for stopping it form ever getting worse. Because your brain tissues are absolutely loaded with vitamin D receptors, it’s no surprise to see that when they become activated by bringing in more vitamin D that your brain chemicals strengthen.
Your body starts to receive the benefits of using the brain chemicals, which can be incredibly powerful in keeping our minds active. Your glial cells, one of the most important types in the body, will start to become more effective and this will effectively nurse your brain back to normal health whilst protecting any brain cells that are at risk.
Vitamin D can act as a solid protector for your mind as it gives it all the juice and energy it needs to click into life. However, there is far more to the effects of vitamin D and the link it has with dementia – and it has been proven by the fantastic Science Daily. They noted here that;
- Those who took part within the survey that had a severe deficiency were up to TWICE as likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia
- Those who took place in the study that were adults had roughly a 53% chance – more than half – and for those who suffered from severe deficiencies could be up to 125% likely to suffer from a mental illness such as dementia
Whilst for years it been believed that vitamin D purely helped the skeleton strength and function effectively, it’s now becoming more obvious than ever that it plays an equally vital role in the safe protection and development of the brain.
Who is most at risk?
So, as the studies above show, just about anyone who isn’t getting enough vitamin D in their systems is actually at risk. The increase flies up to pretty much a guarantee in D-deficient seniors, so it’s no surprise that many new studies are being held to try and understand how to best deal with these risks in the future.
Following on from the study above – which was helped and funded by the excellent Alzheimer’s Association – it was discovered that the study revealed something many professionals were quite unhappy to have come across – the chances of D-deficient people developing this problem is almost twice as bad as they had originally feared.
When this situation started to unfold, many solutions were put in place to start making a difference and to ensure that clinical solutions could be created as quickly as possible to help create a long-term shield to these problems. Typically, the latest research has fallen into the effects of either taking vitamin D supplements or eating oily fish meals and their benefits to your chances of combatting or preventing dementia.
Whilst the progenitors of the study are keen to express that nothing has quite changed in regards to finding a long-term cure the findings were said to have brought forward medical understanding of the illness quite considerably. At the moment, the deterioration of the mind is one of the biggest problems that we can face as a person and with no immediate cure in mind, it’s vital that we start finding solutions that can help prevent the development of the process.
For those suffering from dementia, the causes and the reasons have always been very much a grey area – there was no real proof or path to follow when looking for answers. Instead, today, people are able to get genuine assistance in discovering “the truth” of their problems and for health organizations around the world the importance of finding a solution to dementia is very important. The issue is, of course, that there has to be a genuine link fond between what actually causes the illness.
Until we know what is causing dementia on it’s own, we can only deal with it in the parameters that time will allow. At the moment, the best working theory to have been confirmed as a factor towards this issue is the vitamin D theory – it effectively shows that the damage done by not having enough vitamin d in your body – roughly 25-50 nmol/L – can become irreparable. If you find that you aren’t getting enough vitamin D in your diet then you do need to start making a change to your lifestyle before it’s too late.
Bringing vitamin D into your system can be quite easy to do – sunlight; for example, will give your body all the vitamin D that it needs. Additionally, supplements as mentioned before are a common source for those who don’t have the time or ability to get into the sun on a regular basis.
The Greater Problem
Now that we have seen it effectively confirmed that dementia brings on these problems in people, it’s no surprise that initiatives are well underway to start making a drastic change to this scenario. Dementia is one of the greatest medical challenges that we have come up against until now – with more than 44 million cases across the globe, this is a mental issue that has to be stopped once and for all.
Effectively termed by some as the cancer of the mind dementia slowly wipes you out and takes away your ability to deal with even the most basic of functions. More terrifying, though, is the fact that experts are predicting this number of people who suffer to have tripled by 2050. The rapid aging of parts of the population, mixed in with this generations shocking dietary choices, means that vitamin D deficiencies will become ripe and lead to almost mass loss of memory among many people.
The world has a population of around seven billion – it’s estimated by ScienceDaily that a shocking seventh of the planet suffer from a deficiency in vitamin D. If even just half of that were at critical levels of deficiency, you could find that the number of patients would be more than tripling in the coming years. Instead, we have the makings of a bit of a pandemic on our hands – how can the rapidly deteriorating mind be saved?
Previous studies in the past have shown the link between vitamin D intake and healthy, positive thinking. However, it wasn’t until these recent changes by researchers that the correlation between the most significant mental illnesses and dementia were truly noticed.
It’s so important that changes are discovered, and then made, to the way that dementia is dealt with in the future. Being able to shed the lights on these issues, according to Dr. Doug Brown of the Research and Development of Alzheimer’s society, is going to be more important than ever as we move towards the next few years.
So, what can be done to help people?
According to various sources, using the summer as your main time to get some sun in and boost your vitamin D levels is an obvious yet smart choice. Even just 20 minutes of good sunshine in those warm days will be enough to significantly top up your vitamin D levels. This will give your body enough to help stay active and fresh, whilst helping to remove any chances of dementia ever being able to settle in.
Whilst more clinical trials will be held in the coming years, it’s positive to see that such progress is being made at the moment. Being able to find the source of the problem is the most difficult part of coming up with a long-term solution to fix the problem, so what can be done to help accelerate this process first? Many people are suffering at the moment, and there has to be a greater level of knowledge and flexibility being shown across different parts of the globe.
What Causes The Imbalance?
Now that it has been proven – numerous times, may we add – that there is a fairly obvious and significant link between vitamin D and dementia, there has to be more work done on finding the actual causes for the imbalance in the first place. Having these solutions in place will make it much easier for members of the public to start fostering effective change in the people they love, and also help them understand the reasons and severity for the illness in the first place.
Your brain is littered with smaller receptors that are all made to specifically deal with vitamin D. they have been found on the surface of cells, where they sit and receive specific chemical signals and then react to what they are receiving as a message. They effectively give your mind orders and commands to follow – and many of these receptors are absolutely vital to making sure you never need to deal with a serious problem such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Additionally, the part of your brain that actively stores memories is called the hippocampus. This will start to actively lose receptors if you suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, ensuring that there is more chance of your brain eventually falling into disrepair. It’s involved in the part of your mind that forms the memories in the first place and when these start to die off, your mind will start to suffer at the speed and accuracy of which it can start coming up with memories.
The vast amounts of receptors within your mind point to your brain using vitamin D as a means of stimulating thoughts, feelings and actions. For those who have these receptors missing their minds will start to suffer as it starts to create tangles and plaques that form inside your head. Whilst the actual reasons as to why not having enough vitamin D causes this effect, it’s been shown that the receptors for vitamin D are constantly working to guard and protect your mind rather than damage it in any way, shape or form.
Preventing The Onset of Dementia
There is a huge amount of research out there now, as we can see. However, the vast majority of these studies are what are known as observational studies. These are built around finding a link, not actually drilling down and locating the cause.
Whilst the links currently show that those with mental conditions tend to have less vitamin D within their bloodstream than normal. Additionally, having less vitamin D in your system is proven to make succeeding in exams and tests more difficult – yet more proof that your brain required vitamin D to kick into action.
This means that, whilst we have made huge strides in finding improvements for combatting AD and making sure those who need help most can find it, we don’t have an actual cures being worked upon. The closest thing we have at present is that when the body finds it does not have sufficient amounts of vitamin D in the system, it becomes almost impossible to actually deal with the possibility of things like dementia setting in as we get older and our bodies become less receptive to dealing with problems like this.
Unfortunately, funding for studies has been limited so many of the most intricate parts of these questions have been left unanswered. What is happening at present, though, is that many small-scale sturdies are taking place to look into the effectiveness of supplements.
Specifically, can taking vitamin D and omega-3 supplements improve our brain performance and our ability to call upon memories? While it shall be some time until these studies are finally completed, they look to be the safest course of action for everyone in trying to determine just how effective using these kinds of treatments are going to be in both the short-term and the long-term.
Can Vitamin D Help Today?
Whilst the actual proof and knowledgebase out there regarding dementia is quite limited, it has been shown in some sectors that increasing vitamin D intake can help improve memory and cognitive function. A study carried out in Australia was seeing if those who suffered from early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease could benefit from having a high dosage – 6000 IU/day – of vitamin D included in their system could help them improve their mental function.
- It was found that those who were taking smaller amounts of vitamin D were found to have improved their own memory and thinking capacity
- By the same token, though, those who were taking the larger amounts were finding no greater benefit than those who were taking the smaller doses
It’s believed by some people, then, that using vitamin D can merely slow down the development and can’t actually be the thing to stop it starting in the first place. However, the study also pointed to the potential for a placebo effect to have kicked in – the idea that what you have just taken will make you better is something that we can all get on board with, whether or not it works.
A similar topic was carried out to find out just how effective vitamin D is when used in conjunction with memantine. This is found in many clinical products today and is used to help those with Alzheimer’s deal with their symptoms and live a more comfortable lifestyle. The discoveries that were made were that;
- Taking just one or the other showed no real improvement to the test scores and quality of the patients
- However, taking both, there was significant improvements in both test scores and memory recollection for most patients
- It’s believed, then, that using these together can help boost our cognitive function and make it a bit easier to actually concentrate and clarify situations
- However, these trials were not controlled by normal regulation and therefore what they actually found might not be seen as empirical evidence by certain ruling bodies. If you want to be assured that we are making progress in dealing with illnesses, though, these various studies promoted here will let you see that changes are coming.
- So, what are the main points that have been picked up upon in the last few years regarding vitamin D and dementia?
- There is definitely some kind of connection, although how serious or tenuous we do not yet know
- Research across various backgrounds shows that one of the things sufferers have in common with each other is that they had low levels of vitamin D in their systems
- Whilst this is a key factor that has to be considered, it’s not right or fair to say that vitamin D has been proven to help fix the problem – it’s merely been shown to have a strong correlating effect on your overall health and well-being
- It’s hard to know if the low levels of vitamin D in someone’s system are going to affect their chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s Diseases
- More research is going to be required – but many of the industry standards have found that we have more information now than we did a few years ago regarding this problem
Unfortunately, until new research is carried out we will be left with this similar issue for the upcoming years. If you know of someone who suffers from this debilitating condition, you can find peace in the fact that something is now being done to actually find a solution – a few years ago, this never seemed even remotely possible as dementia ruined families worldwide.