Researchers at Rutgers University have discovered a simple, safe lifestyle change that could significantly reduce the rate of cognitive decline in older individuals.
Doctors at the University of California at Davis and Rutgers University have discovered a new, simple way to ward off cognitive decline and keep your memory sharp during old age. According to a report from CTV News, getting a healthy dose of vitamin D each day can keep people in their 60s and up feeling more active.
According to Dr. Joshua Miller of Rutgers, “This work, and that of others, suggests that there is enough evidence to recommend that people in their 60s and older discuss taking a daily vitamin D supplement with their physicians.” Miller states that vitamin D supplements may not work for everyone, but there is a significantly low health risk in doing so.
The study found that insufficient levels of vitamin D were connected to faster declines in episodic memory and executive function, regardless of the patient’s starting point in these measures. It examined a sample of 400 men and women with a mean age of 76 to determine what effect vitamin D had on their overall cognitive abilities.
Patients in the sample suffered from deficiency and insufficiency, at levels of 26 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Over a five-year follow up period, patients whose vitamin D levels were low experienced a significant decline in cognitive ability, in some cases three times as fast as those with sufficient vitamin D.
Researchers were surprised by the rate of decline in patients who weren’t getting enough vitamin D, which is commonly found in dairy products and can also be absorbed from the sun.