Vitamin D is getting a lot of good press lately as a vitamin that benefits the body in ways we didn’t imagine 10 years ago. Well, add boosting brain function to that list of benefits, according to research from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.
How might vitamin D be related to brain function and the thought process?
Metabolic pathways for vitamin D have been found in the hippocampus and cerebellum areas of the brain — involved in planning, processing and forming new memories.
What happened in the Tufts study?
More than 1,000 participants, ages 65 to 99 years, were grouped by whether their vitamin D status was deficient, insufficient or sufficient. The 35% of participants that had sufficient vitamin D levels had higher cognitive performance on the brain function tests compared to those in the deficient and insufficient categories — even after considering other variables that could also affect cognitive performance.
Where do you get vitamin D (other than sunlight exposure and supplements)?
Natural food sources:
Cod liver oil, 1 TB—1360 IU
Oysters, pacific, 3.5 oz—640 IU
Mackerel, 3.5 oz—360 IU
Fish (most types), 3.5 oz—88 IU (average)
Eggs, 1—26 IU
Beef, chicken, turkey, pork, 3.5 oz—12 IU
Butter, 1 tablespoon—8 IU
Cheese, 2 ounces—8 IU
Yogurt, 1 cup (if fortified milk is used)—4 IU
Fortified foods (various brands of each):
Yogurt smoothies and drinks
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
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