Taking vitamin supplements is mostly a waste of money, however…..

morning_sunrise_hills_500_wht_1000Scientists have recently debunked the idea that taking vitamin supplements is good for you. But it’s a multi-million pound industry so people obviously believe in the dubious advertising claims.

New research has found that people with low levels of vitamin D are twice as likely to develop dementia. Going out in the sunshine and eating oily fish could cut the risk.

The experts are urging clinical trials to see whether vitamin D supplements can prevent dementia.

More than half of elderly people in Britain are thought to be deficient in vitamin D so this type of research could have a significant impact on public health.

David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter medical school who led the study says “The potential for making a difference is enormous. (our research) suggests vitamin D helps the blood supply to the brain and helps to clear out the protein tangles (thought to cause Alzheimer’s disease)”.

The international team studied 1,600 healthy Americans aged over 65 who had their vitamin D levels tested over five and a half years. They found that those with a slight deficiency of vitamin D had a 53% higher chance of developing dementia and those with a serious deficiency a 125% higher risk according to their report in the Neurology journal.

Dr Llewellyn said the research was supported by findings that people living in northern parts of Scotland and Scandinavia were more likely to get dementia than those living in sunnier southern climates.

So we were told to stay out of the sun to avoid skin cancer but it seems a bit of sun on  our backs might be good for us in the long run. 

Previous research has shown that sunlight is good for our eyesight too.

Recent posts on dementia

Dementia update

elderly_man_holding_a_custom_text_sign_12871Just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you should just slob out.

The National Institute for Health & Care Experience (NICE) is urging GPs to exploit a “window of opportunity” when people retire or have grandchildren to encourage them to eat better and exercise more.

At a time when people might be noticing signs of poor health they may not realise that lack of exercise can increase their risk of dementia.

A new study has shown that getting people to exercise their mind and bodies as they approach old age can stave off dementia. A sample of 1,260 aged 60-77 at risk of dementia were given a programme of moderate exercise, memory and word puzzles plus dietary advice. This group declined more slowly than those who didn’t take the programme.

The study was carried out at the Finnish National Institute for Health & Welfare and the results presented to a conference on Alzheimer’s held in Copenhagen.

Meanwhile scientists at Oxford University have concluded that taking vitamins doesn’t do you any good and taking them to help stave off dementia is a waste of money.

B vitamins fail to slow mental decline and don’t prevent dementia. You’d be better off going for a walk and eating more fruit and vegetables.

People taking supplements score no better on tests of memory, speed or decision-making than those taking placebos in 11 different trials of 22,000 people.

Millions of people spend £10 a pack on vitamins believing that they will help stave off dementia, heart disease or stroke – all to no avail.

However trials with an anti-arthritis drug suggest that it might slow down Alzheimer’s disease. People with mild to moderate Alzhemer’s maintained their mental abilities over 6 months while those on a placebo declined.

The drug, etanercept, may be available for dementia patients in five years if larger clinical trials support the early results discovered  at the University of Southampton.

Finally research in Germany shows that playing games, including video games, can increase the size of your brain.

See earlier post on dementia.

Vitamin Supplements and what many have suspected for years………….

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Taking vitamin supplements to prevent Alzheimer’s and keep the brain sharp is a waste of money, Oxford scientists have concluded.B vitamins fail to slow mental decline and do not prevent dementia, a comprehensive analysis of evidence has found. Middle-aged people are better off taking a walk or eating more fruit and vegetables, experts say.

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People taking supplements scored no better on tests of memory, speed or decision-making than those taking placebos, according to an overview of data on 22,000 people in 11 different trials.

“Our study draws a line under the debate. B vitamins don’t reduce cognitive decline as we age. Taking folic acid and vitamin B-12 is sadly not going to prevent Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr Robert Clarke of the clinical trials service unit at Oxford University.

The millions of people who spend £10 a time on packs of vitamins are doing their health no good, Dr Clarke added.“Taking…

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