Vitamin D has long been recommended as a supplement to aid in calcium absorption, which is necessary for healthy bones and teeth. In a year-long clinical trial, researchers have now studied the effect of daily vitamin D supplementation of cognitive function in 183 older volunteers. Participants, 65 years and older, were divided into two groups. One group was administered a vitamin D supplement (800 IU/daily), and the other was given a placebo. Cognitive testing was performed at the beginning, middle, and end of the study. Participants administered the vitamin D supplement showed significant improvements in overall IQ scores, working memory, and cognitive processing. Interestingly, the researchers found lower levels of oxidative stress when examining the participants’ brain chemistry. This means the vitamin D seemed to have an antioxidant effect. This study suggests that vitamin D supplementation may improve cognition and might be useful in preventing cognitive decline.
Yang T, et al. Vitamin D supplementation improves cognitive function through reducing oxidative stress regulated by telomere length in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a 12-month randomized controlled trial. J Alzheimers Dis [published online ahead of print, 2020 Nov 4]. doi:10.3233/JAD-200926.