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Sunlight is a source of vitamin D

Did you know: Your vitamin D levels are linked to dementia risk

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in older people according researcher led by Dr David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School.

In a six-year long study of elderly Americans it was discovered that adults who were moderately deficient in vitamin D were 53 per cent more likely to develop dementia, this increased to 125 per cent in those who were severely deficient.

Similar results were recorded for Alzheimer’s disease, with the moderately deficient group 69 per cent more likely to develop this type of dementia, jumping to a 122 per cent increased risk for those severely deficient.
Vitamin D comes from three main sources:

  • Exposure of skin to sunlight
  • Foods such as oily fish,
  • Supplements

Older people’s skin can be less efficient at converting sunlight into Vitamin D, making them more likely to be deficient and reliant on other sources. In many countries the amount of UVB radiation in winter is too low to allow vitamin D production.

Dr David Llewellyn, University of Exeter Medical School

#4 in our series Five Ways People Can Act on DementiaFollow our Dementia Awareness Week social media campaign all this week on #ExeterDementia #DAW17

To find out more about dementia research at Exeter, visit:

Date: 12 May 2017

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