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Low levels of vitamin D linked to brain damage

04 December, 2013

ISLAMABAD: A new research has suggested that a diet low in vitamin D causes damage to the brain.

In addition to being essential for maintaining bone health, newer evidence shows that vitamin D serves important roles in other organs and tissue, including the brain.

The UK study led by University of Kentucky researchers showed that middle-aged rats that were fed a diet low in vitamin D for several months developed free radical damage to the brain, and many different brain proteins were damaged as identified by redox proteomics.

These rats also showed a significant decrease in cognitive performance on tests of learning and memory.

"Given that vitamin D deficiency is especially widespread among the elderly, we investigated how during aging from middle-age to old-age how low vitamin D affected the oxidative status of the brain," lead author of the study Allan Butterfield, said. "Adequate vitamin D serum levels are necessary to prevent free radical damage in brain and subsequent deleterious consequences."

Previously, low levels of vitamin D have been associated with Alzheimer's disease, and it's also been linked to the development of certain cancers and heart disease.

The study was published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

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