Low vitamin D levels linked to an increased risk of dementia and stroke

Vitamin D deficiency: increased risk of dementia

Various studies have shown that in many regions of the world, including Germany, the vitamin D levels it is too low for a large part of the population. It could be dangerous. Because according to a new study, this can, among other things Risk for dementia climb.

Low vitamin D levels are linked to an increased risk of dementia and stroke. This is demonstrated by a study conducted by researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA) in Adelaide. The study results were recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Lower the volume of the brain

Vitamin D is a Prohormone (hormone precursor), which is increasingly recognized for far-reaching effects, including on brain health, the study authors write in the journal.

Given the growing interest in identifying editable ones risk factors For dementia and stroke, vitamin D has become an attractive candidate due to its ability to maintain adequate serum concentrations through sunlight exposure, diet and supplementation, experts say.

According to a statement from the Australian university, the scientists then examined the connection between vitamin D, neuroimaging features, and the risk of dementia and stroke in their study and found:

Low vitamin D levels were associated with lower levels brain volume and an increased risk of dementia and stroke.

Genetic analysis supported a causal effect of vitamin D deficiency on dementia.

In some populations, up to 17% of dementia cases could be prevented by all in one normal vitamin D levels (50 nmol / l).

prevention of dementia

The genetic study, supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council, analyzed data from 294,514 participants in the UK biobank and examined the effects low levels of vitamin D (25 nmol / L) on the risk of dementia and stroke.

The non-linear Mendelian randomization (MR) – a method to study the causal effect of modifiable exposure on a disease based on measured variation in genes – has been used to test the underlying causality for dementia and stroke.

Lead researcher and director of UniSA’s Australian Center for Precision Health, Professor Elina Hyppönen, says the findings are important for preventing dementia and recognizing the need to address vitamin D deficiency.

“Vitamin D is a hormonal precursorswhich is increasingly recognized for its wide-ranging effects, including on brain health, but until now it has been very difficult to study what would happen if we could prevent vitamin D deficiency. “according to the scientist.

“Our study is the first to examine the effect of very low vitamin D levels on dementia and stroke risks using a robust genetic analysis in a large population.”hence Hypponen.

In some groups, up to 17% of diseases can be prevented

According to the researcher, the findings have important implications for dementia risk in certain population groups where vitamin D deficiency is relatively common. Consequently, it was observed that in these populations up to 17% of dementia cases it could have been avoided if the vitamin D levels had been increased to a normal range.

The results are incredibly significant given the high prevalence of dementia around the world. “Dementia is a progressive and debilitating disease that can be devastating for both individuals and families.”, sag prof. Jump.

“If we can change this reality by making sure none of us are severely vitamin D deficient, there would be other benefits as well and we could.” Health and transforming the well-being of thousands of people “.

For anyone who doesn’t get enough vitamin D from the sun for whatever reason, dietary changes may not be enough, and one nutritional supplement it may be necessary, explains the expert in conclusion. (A.D)

Information on the author and source

This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by medical professionals.


  • University of South Australia: Vitamin D Deficiency Leads to Dementia, (Abruf: 15.06.2022), University of South Australia
  • Shreeya S Navale, Anwar Mulugeta, Ang Zhou, David J Llewellyn, Elina Hyppönen: Vitamin D and Brain Health: An Observational and Mendelian Randomization Study; in: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, (veröffentlicht: 22.04.2022), The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and is not to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.

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