Although forecasts for the future are difficult to predict and could be way out, one that comes up again and again is the expected and high rise in the cases of Alzheimer’s.
It is said that more than 28 million American baby boomers will develop Alzheimer's disease during the course of their lifetimes.
Of course, pharmaceutical companies
are busy researching treatment for this disease while governments and charities are providing or raising funds for research. Sadly, the emphasis has been on treatment rather than prevention in the first place.
Yet another example of “Forget about our lifestyle, just give us a pill!”
But you can take this pill...
There is of course one pill that we could all be swallowing and that is not a drug but a supplement in the form of vitamin D3. And it could provide a key area of prevention.
Recent studies have emphasised the importance of daily vitamin D supplementation to ward off dementia because it has been found that those over the age of 60, and who have a vitamin D deficiency, experience quicker mental decline - as much as three times faster than those with adequate readings.
Their other findings include:
- Vitamin D has a major impact on brain function
- Those with low levels experience cognitive decline at faster rate
Those who know me, or follow my blog posts, will be aware of my great belief in the importance of high vitamin D levels. Known as the “feel good” hormone, I consider it to be the most vital of all vitamins with an ever increasing list of health benefits.
How to get your vitamin D
It is no good thinking that eating certain foods - such as cereals with added vitamin D - is going to make a difference. It is not.
While there is a small amount of vitamin D to be gained from including egg, cheese and fish oil in your diet, the number one way to increase your vitamin D levels is to spend some time in the sun - between the hours of 10h 00 and 14h 00 - with as much skin exposed as possible, minus any sunscreen and until the skin starts to turn pink (if you are fair skinned).
The suggested exposure is about 20 minutes each, front and back but the darker your skin, the longer you need for sufficient absorption. We tell you more here.
With age we become less able to absorb vitamin D from sunlight
Even with the same sun exposure, those over the age of 70 produce 30% less vitamin D than younger people.
We are not all able to lie out in the sun - for a variety of reasons. If this is not always possible and particularly in the colder months, you will need to supplement with a good quality vitamin D3 together with a helping of good fat (eg coconut oil or butter) and a dose of vitamin K2
to aid absorption unless you include plenty of green vegetables in your daily diet.
GrassrootsHealth suggests that those adults who are vitamin D deficient need about 8,000 IUs of vitamin D3 supplements per day to achieve a minimum serum level of 40 ng/ml. If you can go higher, so much the better - between 50 and 100 ng/ml. The secret is in regular testing
and we tell you more about this in our earlier post.
If you are unsure about your own vitamin D status, ask your doctor to arrange for a vitamin D test for you or apply for one yourself from a dedicated lab