Navigating Vitamin D and Dementia Risk: Insights from Sun Exposure and Recent Studies

Vitamin D and Dementia Risk

The Vitamin D Debate: Supplementing for Cognitive Health

Taiwan’s National Health Research Institutes conducted and published their findings in an international journal. By analyzing health insurance data, they discovered that seniors over 65 who take 0.25 micrograms of vitamin D daily for more than 146 days face an 1.8 times increased risk of dementia and an 2.17 increased chance of dying from dementia; suggesting daily vitamin D consumption doesn’t help protect against it; rather it increases both its risks as well as likelihood. This implies daily Vitamin D does nothing to decrease dementia risk; in fact, it increases them exponentially both at risk and death as it does increase both risks while simultaneously.

This news caused widespread alarm among those who regularly supplement with Vitamin D supplements, particularly senior citizens. Many were perplexed as this vitamin is widely known to improve bone health and overall well-being; prior to COVID-19 pandemic vitamin D had even been suggested to boost immune functioning – although, according to this new information it seems the opposite may be true!

Understanding Active vs. Inactive Vitamin D Forms

Let’s consider whether continuous vitamin D consumption is appropriate. The dosage recommended by the National Health Research Institutes differs significantly from what’s typically consumed through supplements; conventional Vitamin D products measure in International Units (IUs), usually 400 to 1000 per serving whereas 0.25 micrograms is an extremely lower dosage – around 10IUs!

It’s essential to distinguish between active and inactive forms of vitamin D. Most supplements available over-the-counter contain inactive vitamin D while prescription medicines available at medical facilities offer effective solutions.

Given this context, we must first understand what active and inactive Vitamin D are as well as why people often consume its inactive forms. There are various forms of Vitamin D available such as D1 through D3. Some sources include plant material like fungi and yeast while egg yolks livers salmon etc for D3, while D1 through D5 may only exist as inactive forms of Vitamin D3.

As part of getting Vitamin D from sunlight, UVB rays should be carefully considered. Of the three categories of ultraviolet radiation – A, B and C – UVB rays range between 280 to 320 nanometers in wavelength and can cause skin burn. Longer wavelength UVA rays age skin over time while UVC carcinogenic radiation cannot get through our protective ozone layer and so cannot cause cancerous mutations; any Vitamin D synthesized by our bodies from sunlight is inactive as well.

Vitamin D travels through our lymphatic system and liver before entering our kidneys for modification into 1,25 dihydroxyvitriol D; this transformation may also take place within immune cells.

Does taking inactive Vitamin D increase my risk of dementia? No. A Taiwanese institute conducted research with hospital patients who used active forms of Vitamin D; regular ingestion does not carry with it the same risks.

Sun Exposure and Vitamin D: A Natural Health Boost

Now is a critical time when considering inactive vitamin D supplementation; whether from plant sources (D2), animal sources (D3) or sun production. We must rely on comprehensive analyses with double-blind controlled experiments as much as possible – rather than basing our conclusions solely on single studies it would be wiser to analyse multiple publications to seek strong evidence-based data sets.

Scientific Reports published a controlled, randomized trial in December 2021 which concluded there was no significant difference in cognitive decline for educated adults aged 60+ taking 2000 IUs of vitamin D daily; however, older African American men showed some slight benefit that further investigation might explain. It could be related to their higher melanin levels affecting vitamin D synthesis or differing nutritional absorption patterns.

In summation, inactive Vitamin D does not exhibit significant effects and its consumption should be determined solely by an individual’s choice. On the other hand, excessive consumption of active forms could increase dementia risks and mortality risks; those using inactive forms need not worry. People who require specific kidney issues requiring active Vitamin D should consult with their physicians regarding continued usage.

If your primary concerns involve vitamin D levels or bone health, engaging in strength training, enjoying sunlight exposure and participating in outdoor activities is likely the best approach to ensure maximum benefits and wellbeing. I hope this information is of use!