The research proving vitamin D’s role against cancer is undeniable. But that’s not the only reason you should be keeping tabs on your levels of this essential nutrient.
According to a new study, your vitamin D levels also predict your risk of cognitive decline as you age.
Duke researchers recently analyzed data from more than 1,200 Chinese subjects aged 60 or older, all participants in the Chinese Longitudinal Health Longevity Survey. They measured vitamin D levels taken at the outset of the study, and evaluated them against cognitive assessments taken over the following two years.
Lo and behold, subjects with lower levels of this critical nutrient were twice as likely to suffer from steep cognitive declines in this time frame — regardless of gender or age.
Overall, low vitamin D levels tripled the risk of future mental impairment.
As the researchers note, these results obviously serve as a stark warning to anyone who’s ethnically Chinese. But let me remind you that the association between low vitamin D levels and cognitive decline remains strong no matter what your background.
In fact, another recent study compared U.S. data from more than 250 long-lived subjects (some as old as 109) to a group of 2,500 NHANES III participants over the age of 70. And results linked low levels of vitamin D to mental decline across the board.
But here’s the thing: Vitamin D status in the exceptionally elderly group closely matched that of the much younger NHANES subjects — pointing to higher overall D levels throughout their lives.
In other words, an ample supply of the sunshine vitamin not only helps you live longer… it keeps your brain sharp a lot longer, too. And that’s a pretty major payoff for as little as 2,000 to 5,000 IU of D3 per day.