Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vitamin D Tied to Cognitive Performance

"The Sunshine Vitamin," vitamin D, can be vital to cognitive health. See what studies say about brain health and vitamin D. Find out which foods are the best sources of vitamin D.

A French study associates higher vitamin D dietary intake with lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Click here to view the research.

Similarly, the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis found that low vitamin D levels among older women are associated with higher odds of global cognitive impairment and a higher risk of global cognitive decline.

Sunshine helps the body with Vitamin D. The following table offers a list of popular dietary sources.

Selected Food Sources of Vitamin D

FoodIUs per serving*Percent DV**
Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon1,360340
Salmon, cooked, 3.5 ounces36090
Mackerel, cooked, 3.5 ounces34590
Tuna fish, canned in oil, 3 ounces20050
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 1.75 ounces25070
Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup9825
Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon6015
Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, 0.75-1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV)4010
Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is found in yolk)206
Liver, beef, cooked, 3.5 ounces154
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce124
*IUs = International Units.
**DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The DV for vitamin D is 400 IU for adults and children age 4 and older. Food labels, however, are not required to list vitamin D content unless a food has been fortified with this nutrient. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient.

Slinin’s group based its analysis on 6,257 community-dwelling older women who had vitamin D levels measured during the Study of Osteopathic Fractures and whose cognitive function was tested by the Mini-Mental State Examination and/or Trail Making Test Part B.

Very low levels of vitamin D (less than 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood serum) among older women were associated with higher odds of global cognitive impairment at baseline, and low vitamin D levels (less than 20 nanograms per milliliter) among cognitively-impaired women were associated with a higher risk of incident global cognitive decline, as measured by performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination.

Annweieler’s team’s findings were based on data from 498 community-dwelling women who participated in the Toulouse cohort of the Epidemiology of Osteoporosis study.

Among this population, women who developed Alzheimer’s disease had lower baseline vitamin D intakes (an average of 50.3 micrograms per week) than those who developed other dementias (an average of 63.6 micrograms per week) or no dementia at all (an average of 59.0 micrograms per week).

These reports follow an article published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A earlier this year that found that both men and women who don’t get enough vitamin D — either from diet, supplements, or sun exposure — may be at increased risk of developing mobility limitations and disability.

The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences is a refereed publication of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,400+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Click here for a printable PDF version of this press release.


  1. What if any is the Vitamin D value of Tuna packed in water which I happen to prefer to the in oil kind.

  2. I notice the foods listed here are all on the list of proscribed food (foods to avoid) published this day on this blog. For the record, the discrepancy is meat and dairy. Furthermore, dairy has a pronounced link to the onset of diabetes. Both meat, including fish and foul, and dairy, as well as refined carbohydrate (flour, for example) promote many auto-immune diseases and diseases typical of affluent societies. I suggest a reading of "The China Study," which is written for lay people by one of the worlds most respected nutritional research scientists.

  3. Regarding Vitamin D, T. Collin Campbell, the nutritional scientist who co-directed the The China Study and wrote the book of the same name which I mentioned above, writes that the amount of vitamin D required is equal to the amount that a person derives by being in the sun long enough to blush an area of the skin equal to that of the forearm. He stated that if you get less sunshine or skin area exposed to sunshine than that, take the minimal vitamin D tablet available, since vitamin D metabolism is extremely sensitive and so little is required.

  4. One time, our family doctor actually gave us a quick summary on the importance of vitamin d specifically the vitamin d3. This is also the time that we appreciate its real importance. When he gave us a sample vit d supplement, me and my husband really experienced a great health improvement. That's why seeing posts such as this can really be helpful to people. Thank you for sharing this helpful info. People badly need it.


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