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Does vitamin D intake and outdoor activity influence risk of developing Parkinson’s disease?

Posted on: October 9, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council


New research published in the Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B found that high vitamin D intake and outdoor activity were associated with a decreased risk for Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease of the nervous system that results in movement-related symptoms such as shaking, slowness of movement, and difficulty walking.

Patients with PD often have low bone mineral density and an increased risk of falls and fractures. Because of this, Research on vitamin D and PD tends to focus on those already diagnosed with PD, not on how vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing PD.

Recently, researchers from China conducted a case-control study to investigate the relationship between vitamin D intake, outdoor activity and the risk for PD. The researchers gathered data from 209 PD cases and 210 healthy controls.

Food frequency questionnaires and self-report questionnaires were used to compare the total vitamin D intake and outdoor activity between the cases and the controls.

Researchers found that both total vitamin D intake and outdoor activity were inversely associated with PD, though outdoor activity was more significantly associated with PD. This means that higher vitamin D intake and amount of outdoor activity was related to a decreased risk for PD.

The group with the highest vitamin D intake had a 46.2% decreased odds of having PD, whereas the highest outdoor activity group had 56.3% decreased odds of having PD.

The researchers stated, “In conclusion, our findings from this Chinese case-control study suggest that outdoor activity and vitamin D intake are both inversely associated with PD, and outdoor activity seems to have a stronger association.”


Zhu D, et al. Inverse associations of outdoor activity and vitamin D intake with the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B, 2014.

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