If your brain could talk, it would ask for this vitamin

In the e-mail I sent you yesterday, I mentioned the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) review of vitamin D research. IOM researchers concluded that D deficiency isn’t a widespread problem, so supplementation isn’t urgent.

They obviously didn’t review the same huge body of research we’ve seen over the past two years.

The IOM panel claims that there isn’t enough evidence to recommend D supplements as a guard against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, etc. But as one M.D. told the Wall St. Journal: “We don’t have evidence for much of what we do in medicine, but if you wait for the evidence, you may be depriving your patients of beneficial treatments.”

Well put, doctor!

So while we’re waiting for more evidence, here are two items the IOM guys should mull over for future reference…

Low levels of vitamin D may increase risk of “substantial cognitive decline,” according to UK research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine last summer. This six-year study, which compared blood tests with cognitive tests in more than 850 retirement-age subjects, also found that cognitive decline was accelerated when D levels were weak.

And those results were confirmed in a new study from France.

Researchers used dietary questionnaires to estimate D intake in nearly 5,600 women who weren’t taking vitamin D supplements. Women who had the lowest intake scored lowest on cognitive health exams. Researchers also found a significant link between high D intake and reduced risk of cognitive impairment.

No need to thank me, IOM. I’m here to help.

Sources:
“Triple That Vitamin D Intake, Panel Prescribes” Melinda Beck, Wall St. Journal, 11/30/10, online.wsj.com
“Low vitamin D status associated with cognitive decline: Study” Nathan Gray, NutraIngredients-USA, 12/2/10, nutraingredients-usa.com

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