Could a Lack of Vitamin D Damage Your Brain?

by DailyHealthPost Editorial

With many people focused on the risk of developing skin cancer, according to data from the CDC, almost a quarter of the population of the United States are considered deficient in Vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a number of serious medical conditions. In fact, recent research has suggested that a diet which is low in Vitamin D could actually cause damage to your brain.

How Low Levels of Vitamin D Affects Your Brain

This new research which was reported in the publication Free Radical Biology and Medicine, was from a study led by a team of researchers from the University of Kentucky.

While many experts are aware that a lack of Vitamin D can compromise bone health, they were investigating how a deficiency in Vitamin D could affect other tissues and organs in the body including the brain.

The researchers documented that middle aged rats which had been fed a low Vitamin D diet over a period of several months showed signs of free radical damage to their brains.

Sign up for our FREE daily newsletter.
Get daily health tips and exclusive offers delivered straight to your inbox.

The rats showed a significant decrease in their cognitive performances when they were given learning and memory tests. The team also noted that there were a number of different brain proteins damaged during this period.

The Impact of this Research

According to lead author, Allan Butterfield, this has a huge potential impact on the well being for a large proportion of the population. Vitamin D deficiency has been documented to be particularly widespread in the elderly, therefore the research was concerned with investigating the effect on “oxidative status” within the brain when Vitamin D levels are low.

The report concludes that adequate levels of Vitamin D are essential in order to “prevent free radical damage” occurring in the brain and “subsequent deleterious consequences”.

Low Vitamin D levels have previously been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease, certain cancers and heart disease. Many people would therefore benefit from ensuring that they consume Vitamin D rich foods, supplements or have daily sun exposure of a least ten to fifteen minutes.

Sign up for our FREE daily newsletter.
Get daily health tips and exclusive offers delivered straight to your inbox.