It is well known that vitamin D serves as a safeguard against conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Now a specific form of the vitamin also appears to significantly reduce the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to an article in Science Daily, London scientists recently discovered a connection between low levels of vitamin D2 and development of Alzheimer’s. The findings follow a six-month study published in Current Alzheimer Research.
Lead researcher Declan Naughton of Kingston University pointed out that a group of untreated Alzheimer’s patients showed little to no D2 levels in their bodies. Patients in another group undergoing standard treatment for Alzheimer’s showed far higher levels similar to healthy individuals in a third control group.
This treatment uses Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors which seem to initiate production of vitamin D2 in the body. The study also showed those with deficiencies can find good dietary sources of vitamin D2 in oily fish and egg yolks. Naughton stated more study would determine the full effectiveness of diet and or medication on vitamin D2 levels.
While scientists already suspected low D2 levels contributed to the development of Alzheimer’s, this is the first direct link between the two. Generating high levels of vitamin D2 in the body may be a major breakthrough for Alzheimer’s sufferers. More than five million people in the United States and 500,000 in the United Kingdom currently suffer from the illness.
Writer Bennett Holleman contributed this report.