Little-known form of vitamin D holds key to Alzheimer's disease prevention

Thursday, October 24, 2013 by: John Phillip
Tags: vitamin D3, Alzheimer''s prevention, prohormone

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(NaturalNews) A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is a significant fear for the vast majority of adults over the age of 50, as this memory-robbing illness continues to strike aging Americans at an ever increasing rate. The cost to care for Alzheimer's patients could eventually topple our failing medical insurance system as billions are needed to pay for caretakers and the medical needs of this skyrocketing population. Researchers are finding that the same natural lifestyle modifications that prevent heart disease are similar for preventing this insidious form of dementia.

Nutritional scientists have already confirmed a handful of potent compounds that retard or significantly delay the development of Alzheimer's, namely the curry spice tumeric, resveratrol extracted from red grapes and the omega-3 long-chain fat, DHA. A research team from London's Kingston University has uncovered evidence that lack of a particular form of vitamin D is associated with Alzheimer's disease. They have reported their findings in the journal, Current Alzheimer Research.

The scientists examined blood samples taken from patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease and compared those results with individuals not suffering from the illness. The team determined that those with Alzheimer's had very low cellular and circulating stores of vitamin D2, a less bioactive form of the prohormone that is normally stored in our tissues for later conversion to the active form known as vitamin D3.

Low vitamin D2 stores are directly linked to increased risk of Alzheimer's disease

Lead researcher, Dr. Declan Naughton commented "The vitamin was either non-existent or in such low quantities that it could barely be measured.... in comparison, people in the study who were either being treated to control their Alzheimer's or who didn't have the condition at all showed far higher levels." Past studies have demonstrated a direct correlation between vitamin D levels in general and a lower risk for developing this type of dementia. This is the first research to provide evidence that low cellular stores of vitamin D2 may significantly increase Alzheimer's development and progression.

Vitamin D3, the active form of the prohormone has been validated in repeated peer-reviewed research studies to dramatically lower the risk from many chronic diseases ranging from many types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke and metabolic dysfunction including diabetes. The authors concluded "Most people associate vitamin D with exposure to the sun. The idea that a lack of the storage form originating from foods such as oily fish and egg yolks might be implicated in the development and progression of Alzheimer's definitely merits further research."

Until more research can provide further details on how much vitamin D2 is needed to retard disease progression, it is critical to maintain optimal vitamin D blood saturation using the standard 25(OH)D test (target 50 to 70 ng/mL) and supplement accordingly to lower Alzheimer's and chronic disease risks.

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About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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