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Is D deficiency linked to risk of cognitive decline?

Posted on: August 17, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD


Dr. David J. Llewellyn and colleagues from all over the world recently conducted the first large longitudinal 6-year study on vitamin D and dementia. They studied 858 older adults, seeing if low 25(OH)D levels at baseline predicted the onset or worsening of dementia.

Llewellyn DJ, Lang IA, Langa KM, Muniz-Terrera G, Phillips CL, Cherubini A, Ferrucci L, Melzer D. Vitamin D and risk of cognitive decline in elderly persons. Arch Intern Med. 2010 Jul 12;170(13):1135-41.

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5 Responses to Is D deficiency linked to risk of cognitive decline?

  1. JBG

    It would be helpful to list here all four of the co-factors you consider to be important.

  2. Brant Cebulla

    Good call JBG,

    The four co-factors Dr Cannell feels are important are: magnesium, zinc, vitamin K and boron.

    See http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-cofactors/ for more information.

  3. Ian

    Brant, On the reference you gave about the co-factors the following was in the list:
    Vitamin A (coming soon)
    In what way is vit A a co-factor? Any refs?

    • Brant Cebulla

      The vitamin D receptor (activated by vitamin D metabolite) binds to the retinoid X receptor (activated by vitamin A metabolite) to upregulate or downregulate gene products.

      It is not known what the effect of nutrition is on this interaction, though one theory is that too much vitamin A and not enough vitamin D weakly stimulates this interaction compared to the right amounts.

  4. JBG

    Brant, in the list of co-factors you give above, and on the page about co-factors, it is vitamin K2 that is meant.

    The point is important because it IS K2 that is the important vitamin D co-factor, and because most people seeing the phrase “vitamin K” will think the vitamin having to do with blood coagulation that is obtained from green veggies is meant. Most people have never heard of K2, and a great many people are deficient in K2, perhaps more even than who are deficient in D, whereas probably most people have enough K1. Even the VDC discussion of vitamin K is confusing about K1 and K2.

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