Volume 3, Issue 32
August 26, 2010
Is this the cheapest ... and most effective ... remedy for memory loss?
I just saw four patients yesterday who were over the age of seventy. Each one of them had the same complaint — decreased memory. Most of us are on the lookout for anything that might keep us a little sharper as we get older. I've told you about a lot of remedies that can increase your brain function. However, there may not be an easier — or more effective — remedy than what I'm going to tell you about today.
A recent study out of Europe gives us some exciting news. It shows that a very inexpensive and easy to find supplement can significantly boost your memory.
The study looked at 387 people between the ages of 55 and 87. The researchers measured the cognitive function of each subject. They used a standardized test called the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery for the measurements. They also measured the blood levels of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D). Just to make sure that the levels were accurate, they checked them several times over the course of a year and used the average. What they found will encourage you to keep your vitamin D levels in the highest ranges.
The researchers found that 12% of the subjects had vitamin D levels less than 30 nmol/l. Unfortunately, the European system of reporting vitamin D levels is different from the American system. So this can be a little confusing. The American system is in nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). Whereas the European system is in nanomols per liter (nmol/l). The conversion is: 30 ng/ml = 75 nmol/l. But to make it simple, roughly divide the European number in half to get the American number. Now back to our story.
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By American standards, the 12% of people with levels less than 30 nmol/l had levels less than 15 ng/ml! This is an example of a severely low level of vitamin D. Keep in mind that all of these people were healthy.
The researchers found that 60% of the participants had levels below 40 ng/ml. Although this is within the normal range, I have told you in the past that this is still below the optimal range (50-70 ng/ml). That means that 72% of these healthy participants were below optimal levels of vitamin D.
The researchers then compared the vitamin D levels to the cognitive test scores. The results showed that the people with the higher levels of vitamin D, in this case only greater than 42 ng/ml, had significantly fewer errors on their testing than those with levels less than 23 ng/ml.ÿ The authors reached two conclusions from their work.
First, they said, "Vitamin D insufficiency, but not deficiency [according to the currently acceptable blood levels of vitamin D] is widespread in the older population of several European countries."
Second, "Low vitamin D status was associated with a reduced capacity for spatial working memory." This was found in both sexes, but was particularly noticeable for women.
So what should you do? Keep taking increasing doses of vitamin D until your levels are greater than 70 ng/ml. This often means doses between 5,000 and 15,000 units. Once the levels are in this optimal range, have your serum calcium checked.ÿ Every now and then this amount of vitamin D will raise calcium levels. In that case, reduce the dose, and take the highest amount possible while maintaining normal calcium levels. You can order 5,000-unit tablets of vitamin D3 (the best form available) by following this link.
Finding your Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
REF: Seamans KM, Hill TR, Scully L, Meunier N, Andrillo-Sanchez M, Polito A, Hininger-Favier I, Ciarapica D, Simpson EE, Stewart-Knox BJ, O'Connor JM, Coudray C, Cashman KD. Vitamin D status and measures of cognitive function in healthy older European adults. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Aug 11.
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