Scientists from Huazhong University of Science and Technology found high vitamin D level in the body is linked to lower dementia risk in people with type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose). With type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or resists insulin.
Symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision. In some cases, there may be no symptoms.
Type 2 diabetes has been consistently associated with an increased risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia; mild cognitive impairment, which is a condition preceding dementia; and cognitive decline, which is the progressive clinical hallmark of dementia.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that has long been known to help the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone.
Also, laboratory studies show that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation.
Several studies have suggested that vitamin D status is linked to the risk of dementia in general populations.
However, whether vitamin D is linked to the risk of dementia in patients with diabetes is unclear.
In this study, researchers aimed to examine the associations of circulating vitamin D levels with risks of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia in adults with type 2 diabetes.
They used data from more than 13,000 people older than 60. These people had type 2 diabetes but were free of dementia at recruitment (2006-2010) from the UK Biobank study.
During a follow-up of 8.5 years, the team had 283 cases of dementia, including 101 Alzheimer’s disease and 97 vascular dementia cases.
They found a link between vitamin D levels in the body and the risk of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia.
Higher serum levels of vitamin D were strongly associated with a lower risk of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia.
The researchers suggest that higher levels of vitamin D were strongly associated with a lower risk of dementia in people with type 2 diabetes.
These findings, if confirmed by future studies, may help with dementia prevention strategies that target improving or maintaining serum vitamin D levels among people with type 2 diabetes.
The main limitation of the current analysis was the possible underreporting of dementia cases, as the cases were identified via electronic health records.
The research was published in PLOS Medicine and conducted by Tingting Geng et al.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies that the Keto diet could benefit overweight people with type 2 diabetes, and green tea could help reduce the death risk in type 2 diabetes
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that blackcurrants can reduce blood sugar after meals and results showing these antioxidants could help reduce the risk of dementia.
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