Vitamin D Supplementation May Cut Dementia Incidence

Any vitamin D supplement exposure was associated with 40 percent lower dementia incidence

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WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D supplements may prevent or delay incident dementia, according to a study published online March 1 in Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring.

Maryam Ghahremani, from the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues examined associations between vitamin D supplementation and incident dementia in 12,388 dementia-free persons seen at the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center.

The researchers found that across all formulations, vitamin D exposure was associated with significantly longer dementia-free survival and a lower dementia incidence rate than no exposure (hazard ratio, 0.60). The effect of vitamin D on incidence rate was more significant in women versus men, in those with normal cognition versus mild cognitive impairment, and in apolipoprotein E ε4 noncarriers versus carriers.

"We know that vitamin D has some effects in the brain that could have implications for reducing dementia; however so far, research has yielded conflicting results. Our findings give key insights into groups who might be specifically targeted in future studies of vitamin D supplementation," principal investigator Zahinoor Ismail, M.D., of the Cumming School of Medicine in Calgary and the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. "Overall, we found evidence to suggest that earlier supplementation might be particularly beneficial, before the onset of cognitive decline."

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

Lori Solomon

Lori Solomon

Medically reviewed by Mark Arredondo, M.D.

Published on March 08, 2023

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