How Vitamin Deficiency Leads to Dementia
Vitamin deficiency could lead to more than just musculoskeletal degeneration. A common concern with respect to such deficiencies is an illness called dementia. Often considered an old man’s disease, dementia is a disease of forgetfulness where the patient loses higher mental function and capacity to think and memorise things. Even though, the usual associations with dementia are vascular problems, alcoholism, intoxication and Alzheimer’s disease, over the past few years new research has found links between dementia and vitamin deficiency - especially, folate, vitamins D, and B12. Let us understand this in detail.
According to a study published in 2008 in the "Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, deficiency of folate is a predictor of dementia. The study continued for 2.5 years and came up with very interesting insights, revealing how a lack of this natural form of water-soluble B vitamin can lead to dementia. So, make sure you are getting your dietary dose of turnip, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruit right in order to keep dementia at bay.
Vitamin B-12 has been extensively researched for its importance in preventing dementia. It is case-specifically linked to prefrontal dementia. In this type of dementia, the frontal lobes of the brain decrease in size or simply become numb, thus leading to several mental disturbances. According to a study published in Neurological Sciences 2011, people with low levels of B-12 vitamin in the body are excessively prone to behavioural problems. So, it is imperative to get your dietary dose of mussels, chicken, clams, eggs, crab, trout, pork, turkey and yogurt in order to eat sufficient amounts of B-12.
Vitamin D is famously known for its oral health properties, however a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 2011 by Dr. William B. Grant under the headline "Does Vitamin D Reduce the Risk of Dementia?”, revealed a direct link between Vitamin D and its importance in brain functioning and development. Dr. Grant states, "To date, the evidence includes observational studies supporting a beneficial role of vitamin D in reducing the risk of diseases linked to dementia such as vascular and metabolic diseases, as well as an understanding of the role of vitamin D in reducing the risk of several mechanisms that lead to dementia." Also, evidences flourished in the 2011 edition of Drugs Today. An article clearly finds out how one can protect their mental health, even in old age, by consuming sufficient amount of Vitamin D.
Whether or not you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet is of concern, with or without the threat of dementia or other diseases. However, it is useful to note that a minor deficiency today, could lead to a potential disease risk tomorrow. As always, the best way to take your vitamins is through healthy foods. Except for the three vitamins - D, K, and Biotin, the other vitamins can be found in fruits, vegetables and lean meats, and must be a part of your regular diet.
References: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, "Neurological Sciences", and “Drugs Today”.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images