Can Vitamin D Improve Brain Function?
It seems as though 'settled science' once again got something wrong. I don't mean to rag on scientists, but when government grants intersect with science, or where a new industry is created on the back of a study or two - no matter how flawed they may be - the consequences (usually unintended) end up being negative for the same group these scientists were trying to help.
A great example is the food pyramid in the 90's that turned out to be completely upside down. Is the government going to be held liable for the thousands or millions of people who increased their carb intake? Will the scientists who fed them this information be held accountable? No.
Another is the ozone layer that I was told over and over again was shrinking, which could end our planet. It isn't, not any longer, in fact it's once again growing. This 'settled science' exists in many areas of modern life that we don't need to get into, but be aware and alert and suspicious whenever government grants influence scientific research (those who agree with a certain conclusion get the grant while those who oppose it, don't). We may be seeing this in another area, one that pertains to a necessary and life-giving entity in our solar system, the sun.
When I grew up I was constantly taught in school, and my folks in magazines and the news, to shelter from the sun as much as possible. Skin cancer was a big thing and scientists, the media, and governments rushed to jump on the bandwagon that pushed the avoidance of sun narrative.
Of course, the sun is where we get our vitamin-D. Vitamin D has been shown to increase testosterone in men, to increase free testosterone, to help fight depression, and recently, to possibly cure or defend against viruses - like the Covid-19 virus. Simply put, vitamin D - which comes from the sun - would be the opposite of our kryptonite, and something we need to not only thrive but stay alive.
Researchers are now discovering new possible upsides to sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation, and it has to do with our brain function and fighting off cognitive decline (things like Alzheimer's and dementia).
Vitamin D and Your Brain
Robert J. Przybelski, research scientist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health tells us, “We know there are receptors for vitamin D throughout the central nervous system and in the hippocampus. We also know vitamin D activates and deactivates enzymes in the brain and the cerebrospinal fluid that are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth.”
It's concerning that for years we were told to lather on sunscreen - something that blocks our absorption of vitamin D - but coupled with the fact that we spend an inordinate amount of time indoors, and even when we're outdoors we're often in our trucks or cars driving from point A to point B, it seems modern humans, like no other humans before, are without a vital hormone for our existence, health, and performance (vitamin D is a hormone, not a vitamin, learn more about that in this article).
On top of that there are two recent studies from Europe that further back up this Vitamin D, brain connection. The first study, led by neuroscientist David Llewellyn of the University of Cambridge, assessed vitamin D levels in more than 1,700 men and women from England, aged 65 or older. Subjects were divided into four groups based on vitamin D blood levels: severely deficient, deficient, insufficient (borderline) and optimum, then tested for cognitive function.
The scientists found that the lower the subjects’ vitamin D levels, the more negatively impacted was their performance on a battery of mental tests. Compared with people with optimum vitamin D levels, those in the lowest quartile were more than twice as likely to be cognitively impaired. A second study, led by scientists at the University of Manchester in England and published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, "compared the cognitive performance of more than 3,000 men aged 40 to 79 years at eight test centres across Europe.
The researchers found that men with higher levels of vitamin D performed consistently better in a simple and sensitive neuropsychological test that assesses an individual’s attention and speed of information processing." When it comes to brian performance, improvement in any percentage can yield massive compounding effects over one's life. The ability to remember even 1% more of a book, for example, can mean a life-changing idea. The ability to think more quickly and perform mental tasks with more rapidity can even increase one's earnings over a lifetime, decrease mistakes, and therefore reduce regrets later in life.
“Previous studies exploring the relationship between vitamin D and cognitive performance in adults have produced inconsistent findings but we observed a significant, independent association between a slower information processing speed and lower levels of vitamin D,” said lead author Dr David Lee, in Manchester’s School of Translational Medicine.
“The main strengths of our study are that it is based on a large population sample and took into account potential interfering factors, such as depression, season and levels of physical activity. “Interestingly, the association between increased vitamin D and faster information processing was more significant in men aged over 60 years, although the biological reasons for this remain unclear.”
“The positive effects vitamin D appears to have on the brain need to be explored further but certainly raise questions about its potential benefit for minimising ageing-related declines in cognitive performance.”
More Than Just Fighting Cognitive Decline
Vitamin D is a hormone that supports more than 1,000 bodily functions, including boosting your immune system and literally skyrocketing your testosterone levels. It's been shown to reduce depression, increase free testosterone in men, and fight viruses. So how much vitamin D should you get and/or take? The consensus seems to be between 1,000 IU and 2,000 IU's of the hormone - to get a full, clinically effective dose of pure, liquid 2,000 IU's of vitamin D3, check out Man D3 HERE.
Of course, skin color, where you live, the season, and your lifestyle can change that. If you want to fight cognitive decline, improve focus, and memory, consider 'stacking' Man D3 with Man Brain (learn more about Man Brain here).
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