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Vitamin D Linked to Cognitive Function in Men

Vitamin D supplementation might help preserve cognitive function with aging

MONDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- The level of vitamin D in the blood is associated with cognitive function in middle-aged and older men, according to a study published online May 21 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

David M. Lee, M.D., of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues studied 3,369 men (ages 40 to 79 years) enrolled in the European Male Aging Study. Cognitive function for each subject was assessed with multiple instruments, including the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure test, the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), and the Camden Topographical Recognition Memory test. The blood level of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) was determined by radioimmunoassay and associated with cognitive function using linear regression models.

The researchers found that the mean vitamin D concentration in the study group was 63±31 nmol/l. Higher levels of vitamin D were associated with higher scores on the cognitive tests. After the investigators adjusted for additional confounders, they found that vitamin D levels were associated with only the DSST score. Analysis suggested the relationship between cognitive function and vitamin D concentration was most significant at concentrations below 35 nmol/l.

"In light of our findings, and the fact that vitamin D inadequacy is common among adults, further prospective studies are warranted to determine whether vitamin D supplementation could aid in minimizing aging-related declines in specific cognitive domains," the authors conclude.

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