An earlier study also indicated that a deficiency of vitamin D was related to Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia. The researchers who conducted that study found that in addition to dementia, a lack of vitamin D was a related to elevated risks of stroke and blood vessel disease. These researchers proposed that vitamin D protects the blood vessels within the brain.
Another group of researchers investigated possible ways that vitamin D protects the brain. They suggested that vitamin D may work at a genetic level. The researchers also stated that vitamin D may reduce inflammation and support the transmission of messages within the brain. While the scientists recognized that more research was needed, they suggested that the best type of vitamin D for supplementation is calcitriol, the active form of Vitamin D3.
A small study evaluated the relationship between diet and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists found that people who ate diets rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and fish, and low in fat, meat, sugar, and high fat dairy products experienced lower levels of plaque formation within their brains when compared with people who other types of diets. Plaque formation is a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. The authors reviewed other studies that consistently showed the same results. They indicated that folic acid, vitamin B12, beta carotene and vitamin D may be important in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Future Research into Conditions That Affect the Brain
While much has been discovered about migraines and dementia, there is a vast quantity of research that still needs to be done. As more is learned about each condition, additional doorways open up to having more knowledge about the complex workings of the brain.
It is important to be aware of current information, as the knowledge base is growing rapidly. I urge caution as well. Sometimes studies are misreported or conducted by researchers who are more interested in profits than in pure science. Keep in mind that we know more now than we did 10 years ago; and that with each passing day we know more than we did the day before. That can give us hope for preventing, treating, and living with these complex conditions.