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Diets low in vitamin D may cause brain damage

Vitamin DAccording to a new study performed by researchers at the University of Kentucky, diets low in vitamin D may cause brain damage.

Vitamin D is essential for sustaining bone health.

However, this new study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine in the United Kingdom provided evidence that vitamin D is also important for the health of our organs and tissues, which includes our brains.

Diets low in vitamin D may cause brain damage

Researchers performed tests on middle-aged rats—they fed them diets low in vitamin D.  What they found was after several months the rats developed free radical brain damage, as well as damage to a number of brain proteins.  The rats also exhibited a significant decrease in memory and learning when researchers performed cognitive performance tests.

Diets low in vitamin D  have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and the development of heart disease and various types of cancers.

According to Allan Butterfield, director of Free Radical Biology in Cancer Core of the Markey Cancer Center, and director of the Center of Membrane Sciences,

“Given that vitamin D deficiency is especially widespread among the elderly, we investigated how during aging from middle-age to old-age how low vitamin D affected the oxidative status of the brain.  Adequate vitamin D serum levels are necessary to prevent free radical damage in brain and subsequent deleterious consequences.”

Recommendations for people lacking proper nutrients

Proper food intake can be difficult and diets low in vitamin D are common in areas where people experience economic hardships.  The elderly populace are additionally vulnerable to lacking adequate nutrition.

Professor Butterfield and a myriad of health professionals recommend that people consult with a physician to determine his or her vitamin D level.

More than likely, further advice would be to take vitamin D supplements, get 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure a day, and consume foods rich in vitamin D.

Foods containing rich amounts of vitamin D are mushrooms, fish, fortified dairy products, eggs, fortified cereals, and sardines, to name a few.

Following this advice can help in protecting your brain and improve your health.


About the author: George Zapo is certified in Public Health Promotion and Education (Kent State University). George provides informative articles promoting healthy behavior and lifestyles.

2 comments… add one
  • It is so good to know this. I have no idea how my doctor discovered I was way low in vitamin D a few years ago. I was and got treated and monitored my blood levels for a while. (it is a crazy story how it happened.)

    • It’s great to hear you’re taking care of yourself, Malika!

      I’d love to hear your story about how it happened.

      I’m sure some of our readers would like to hear it, as well.

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